The Kitchen Boy, the first nongenre book by mystery writer Robert Alexander, was sold by Marly Rusoff to executive editor Jane von Mehren at Viking Penguin, world rights, for six figures. It's the story of a kitchen boy on the staff of Nicholas Romanov—the last czar, who was executed by the Bolsheviks—and his observations of the imperial family's last days. Alexander has drawn on original documents to tell the familiar story from a new viewpoint; Judith Farkas at AMG represents movie rights.... Eric Chinski at Houghton Mifflin bought Revolutionaries: Inventing the American Nation by Pulitzer historian Jack Rakove. He bought North American and first serial from Michael Carlisle and Don Lamm at Carlisle & Company; the book will be, said Chinski, "a probing account of the struggle over how to define a new nation."