Free Press Nabs Sweden's 'Crime Sisters'
Free Press executive v-p and publisher Martha Levin bought North American rights, at auction, to the first two titles in a bestselling Swedish series by sisters Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff. Anna Frankl and Joakim Hansson at the Nordin Agency brokered the deal, and the first book, Some Kind of Peace, a #1 bestseller in Sweden that has been sold in seven languages, is scheduled for May 2012. The second book in the deal, More Bitter Than Death, is slated for 2013. Some Kind of Peace follows a Stockholm psychologist trying to unravel the mystery behind the murder of one of her patients. Grebe is a businesswoman with a background in publishing and her sister is a psychologist.

Ellis 'Improvises' for Knopf
John Taylor "Ike" Williams at Kneerim & Williams closed a world rights deal for Pulitzer-winner Joseph Ellis with Ash Green and Dan Frank at Knopf. In the new book, Great Improvisations: Politics and War in the Summer of 1776, Ellis, who teaches history at Mount Holyoke and won the Pulitzer for his 2000 book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (Knopf), shows how the war came out of a series of rushed decisions. According to Knopf, the book introduces readers to lesser-known historical figures, like the top English soldiers the Howe brothers, as well as revealing "new interpretations of the actions of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson during this fraught summer."

Square One Goes to the Cats
Square One president Rudy Shur acquired a book by Jeanne Adlon, a woman he calls New York City's "first full-time cat sitter" after she started offering the service 35 years ago. Shur took world rights to Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Big City Cat Sitter, which Adlon, who contributes a weekly column to CatChannel
.com, is co-writing with Cat Fancy editor Susan Logan. Adlon did not have an agent on the deal. The book, which will feature a foreword by Garfield creator Jim Davis, is scheduled for September 2011.

Walden Pond Lands Trader Turned YA Novelist
John Thompson, a former trader at Salomon Brothers, sold his first YA novel to Walden Pond Press, the joint venture between Walden Media and HarperCollins. Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary + Media handled the North American rights deal for Thompson, selling the title to Jordan Brown. The Girl from Felony Bay is set in Thompson's native Charleston, S.C., and follows a 12-year-old girl who tries to clear her father's name after an accident puts him in a coma and he is accused of shady business dealings. The book is tentatively scheduled for winter 2013, and Barbara said it's drawn comparisons to Carl Hiaasen's middle grade books and Bridge to Terabithia.

Kent Carroll at Europa Editions took U.S. and Canadian rights to Steve Erickson's These Dreams of You. Melanie Jackson brokered the deal for Erickson, who lives in Los Angeles and is the film critic for Los Angeles magazine. The novel, Erickson's ninth and his second to be published by Europa after 2007's Zeroville, follows the Nordhoc family as, in the publisher's words, "it negotiates the turmoil of early 21st-century America." The novel, which will be a lead title for Europa, is scheduled for early 2012.

In last week's column, Jennifer Gates at Zachary Schuster Harmsworth was mentioned as the sole agent on a two-book deal for John and Sherry Petersik with Artisan. Gates just handled the auction on behalf of ZSH agent Rachel Sussman.