State of Jane

Harper's publication of Michael Crichton is continuing: the house has signed the megaauthor, via agent Lynn Nesbit, for two more books. The deal is for hard-soft world English, money not disclosed. Marjorie Braman will edit.

The publisher began its relationship with the longtime Random author with the publication of Prey in 2002 and continued with State of Fearin 2004. The first book is due out in fall 2006. Despite flagging sales of commercial fiction—especially in paper— Harper has maintained that Crichton has bucked the trend, compensating with heavy sales at the big-box retailers.

Eats, Shoots & Argues

Crown's Rick Horgan recently had a little bit of a snafu on his hands after Steve Florio backed out of his presumed tell-all, a bit that went public in David Carr 'sNew York Times column. But Horgan is dotting his i's, as it were, with a book being pitched as an Eats, Shoots & Leaves—type corrective that will do for rhetoric what that book did for grammar. In Praise of Argument: What Aristotle, Cicero, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs , a former Outside editor, and a "frequent lecturer on the lost art of verbal seduction," promises readers they'll be able, upon conclusion, "to fend off verbal attacks and bring any thinking audience around to their point of view." Horgan bought North American from Cynthia Cannell .

Read Like Thieves?

Atria will publish what it's calling the only official INXS autobio, with members spilling all on the Aussie band and the suicide of frontman Michael Hutchence. Ex-Rolling Stone staffer AnthonyBozza will pen for fall. PeterBorland bought from ICM's RichardAbate .

The Briefing

Newish Crown hire Allison McCabe has made her first big buy, Karleen Koen 's Dark Angels, from JeanNaggar . The book is a prequel 20 years in the making to Through a Glass Darkly, the author's '80s bestseller. The novel takes us to the melodrama of Charles II England and Louis XI France.... The list of films script doctor JohnTruby is connected to runs longer than an Oscar presentation—everything from Beetlejuice to Shrek. He'll tell how it's done in Anatomy of a Story. Book was bought by FSG's DeniseOswald for Faber & Faber from the most Hollywood of Brooklyn agents, NoahLukeman .... Andrew Blauner continues his hot streak for family and relationship books going tinsel. After he shopped Pamela Paul to Gold Circle last week, he's sold What It Takes to Pull Me Through, Houghton's tale of troubled teens by David Marcus , to Susan Rose Productions. Matthew Snyder co-agented.