As Hurricane Isabel approached last week, Norton's Jill Bialosky made a timely buy: a new novel called Whirlwind by Michael Grant Jaffe, about a beleaguered North Carolina weatherman whose life is transformed by the arrival of—a hurricane named Isabel; this was bought from Georges Borchardt, North American rights.... Ann Godoff's Penguin Press bought a new book by Princeton professor and author Cornel West, a sequel to his celebrated Race Matters called Democracy Matters; it looks at America's efforts to end racial discrimination as a possible guide to the abandonment of what West sees as a headlong rush to world domination. Editor Emily Loose bought world rights from Gloria Loomis and will publish next fall.... Ballantine's Linda Marrow paid out seven figures for five new mysteries in the popular series about ace gambler Tony Valentine by card expert James Swain. The North American deal was signed with agent Chris Calhoun at Sterling Lord Literistic.... Laura Hruska at Soho Press bought a second novel by Michael Blaine, whose first was The Desperate Season. The new one is The Midnight Band of Mercy, based on a true story about a cult whose members strangled cats in 1890s New York. She bought North American rights from Sally Wofford-Girand.... S&S's Chuck Adams bought a book by Susan Clancy, the Harvard researcher who ran into fire for her findings that many tales of childhood sex abuse were imaginary. Her I Just Wanted Somebody to Listen was bought from Susan Arellano at the Susan Rabiner agency, for publication in 2005.... Agent Marly Rusoff sold two more novels by Lisa Tucker, whose The Song Reader was published by Pocket's Downtown Press last spring. Amy Pierpont made the world rights deal for the new ones; a second Tucker novel will appear next April.... Grove's Elisabeth Schmitz took world rights in a new novel by PEN/Faulkner Award—winning short story writer and screenwriter Sabina Murray. It's a literary thriller called A Carnivore's Inquiry and was bought from Esmond Harmsworth at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth.