Former publisher turned novelist Joe Kanon has signed again with Henry Holt publisher John Sterling for another new book. It's called Alibi, and like most of Kanon's work is set in the period immediately after WWII, this time with a setting in Venice and a tale of murder, love and betrayal. The North American rights deal was signed with Amanda Urban at ICM, for publication next spring.... Broadway's Gerry Howard bought a study of Oklahoma's neo-psychedelic rock group Flaming Lips by Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis, who will have the full cooperation of the oddball group admired by the likes of Paul McCartney and the Stones. This was a deal for North American rights, plus audio and first serial, made with Chris Calhoun at Sterling Lord Literistic... ReganBooks'Judith Regan is resurrecting an old-style "broadside" formula—a short political pamphlet—for presidential candidate Ralph Nader to air his views about the lack of choice he sees between existing political parties. It will be called Civic Arousal and will be published October 12.... A book called The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine, who runs seminars on the subject and small-talks on radio and TV, was pre-empted by Kelly Notaras at Hyperion in a mid-six-figures deal made by Penny Nelson at Manus & Associates on the Coast.... Colin Dickerman at Bloomsbury USA won a best-bid playoff with a six-figure one for The Crushed Grape Club by Natalie Maclean, a sommelier and wine writer (she has her own widely read wine newsletter) that takes readers behind the mysteries of the wine business. Dickerman beat out Putnam and Algonquin in a campaign run by Canadian agent Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative.

Hot Deals will be in Frankfurt next week.