Auctions for Dagger Winner

British Columbia writer Alan Bradley, who won the Debut Dagger award last week in London, has auctioned off U.S. rights to the first three books in a proposed six-book series via agent Denise Bukowski, with Molly Boyle and Kate Miciak at Bantam the victors. The series centers on a barely 11-year-old sleuth named Flavia who has a passion for poisons, and the first book is called The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Bukowski has also sold Canadian rights to Doubleday and U.K. rights to Orion, both also three-book deals at auction; all three deals were made on the basis of a 17-page submission. The Debut Dagger is awarded to a previously unpublished crime novelist based on a maximum 3,000-word excerpt and synopsis; 12 writers were on the shortlist.

A Life on the Hill

Melody Guy at Ballantine/One World has acquired an untitled memoir by Bertie Bowman, the longest-serving African-American in the Capitol Hill workforce; Scott Mendel at Mendel Media sold world rights. Bowman, 76, will tell the story of his arrival in Washington as a penniless 13-year-old runaway farmboy from South Carolina, talk about his personal relationships with virtually every president and senator going back to WWII, and also tell the story of the government’s least-publicized workforce—the huge number of black workers who staff the House and Senate. Bowman is presently a senior staffer at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a director of the U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union and the owner of a Washington, D.C., limousine company. Bowman’s friend Bill Clinton has promised to write a foreword to the book.

Can’t Go Home Again

Harmony’s John Glusman has acquired North American rights to Douglas Rogers’s The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe via Heather Schroder at ICM. Zimbabwean journalist and travel writer Rogers will tell the heartbreaking and hilarious story of his parents, among the last white farmers in Zimbabwe, struggling to hold onto their farm as president Mugabe’s economic and land reclamation policies send the country into a tailspin.

Glusman also bought world rights to Greg Critser’s Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging via Richard Abate at Endeavor. Fat Land and Generation Rx author Critser will explore the carnival of age-defiers, age-deniers and outright quacks, explaining the science behind anti-aging claims. Tentative pub date is fall 2009.

Kogan to Voice

Shutterbabe author Deborah Copaken Kogan has sold a book of linked essays, Hell Is Other Parents, to Ellen Archer and Pamela Dorman at Voice; agent David McCormick sold North American rights. Kogan will chronicle the year she turned 40, during which she found herself pregnant and depressed, and her 10-year-old son became a movie star while her own career took a nosedive. Throughout, fellow parents couldn’t keep themselves from offering unsolicited advice and judgment.

Archer and Dorman have also acquired a novel by Karen Stabiner, tentatively titled Admissions, a sendup of the college admissions process, via Lynn Nesbit at Janklow & Nesbit, who sold U.S. rights.

Delbourgo Deals

Holt’s Sarah Knight bought world rights to Chuck Thompson’s The Year of Traveling Dangerously via agent Joelle Delbourgo. Travel writer Thompson will confront his nightmares by visiting destinations he’d previously sworn off, including Disney World and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

And Molly Lyons at Delbourgo conducted an auction for Lauren Mackler’s Mastering the Art of Aloneness, which demonstrates how solitude can enhance your life; Patty Gift took world English rights in her first buy in her new position at Hay House.