Hot Debut to Penguin Press

Penguin Press ed-in-chief Eamon Dolan won a big auction for Jedediah Berry's first novel, The Manual of Detection, via Esmond Harmsworth at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. The book, said to defy genre but borrowing elements from speculative novels, surrealistic fiction and classic detective fiction, follows a lowly clerk charged with investigating the disappearance of the world's greatest detective. Surrounded by femme fatales, crooked detectives and criminal gangs, the clerk finds himself involved in a struggle to defend a city against a master criminal who operates within people's dreams. Penguin Press has North American rights and plans a spring 2009 publication.

Three for Crais, Lippman

Putnam editor-in-chief Neil Nyren has signed three new books by Robert Crais, to begin appearing in 2009; Aaron Priest made the North American rights deal. The first book in the new deal will be a sequel to last year's The Watchman, which is nominated for the 2008 best novel Thriller Award by the International Thriller Writers. Simon & Schuster will publish Crais's 15th novel, Chasing Darkness, in July.

Morrow executive editor Carrie Feron has signed up three new books by Laura Lippman via Vicky Bijur, who sold North American rights. Whether the titles will be Tess Monaghan books or standalones is yet to be decided. There will be at least one stand-alone. Feron has published all 13 of Lippman's novels. New books will come out in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

How to Motivate

Amistad editorial director Dawn Davis won an auction for Max Siegel's Know What Makes Them Tick: Nine Rules of Deep Motivation to Build Success That Lasts; Laura Nolan at the Creative Culture made the six-figure world rights sale. Siegel, the president of Dale Earnhardt International and the only person of color in NASCAR management, will show how recognizing what really motivates others—which can mean putting aside your own agenda—can result in more effective results in business and in life. Previously the head of a gospel label at Sony, Siegel was dubbed “the most important exec in gospel music” by Newsweek. Tentative pub date is early 2010.

Hasselbeck's Diet

The View cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck has signed a deal for The G-Free Diet, an all-inclusive survival guide to living gluten free; Sarah Sper at Center Street preempted world English rights in a major deal with Andrea Barzvi at ICM. The book is based on Hasselbeck's research as well as her own experience living with celiac disease. Pub date is May 2009.

Soul Men

Harmony executive editor John Glusman has signed up a new book by Jonathan Gould titled Can I Get a Witness? Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and the Spirit of Soul; Richard Pine at Inkwell sold world rights. Harmony published Gould's Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain and America last fall.

Davidson Trio to SMP

St. Martin's senior editor Monique Patterson has signed up three new romantic thrillers by Undead series author MaryJanice Davidson via Ethan Ellenberg, who sold world rights except U.K. in a six-figure deal. The first will be Me, Myself and Why? featuring a trio of heroines who work for the FBI and investigate a serial killer. The trio is then revealed to be one woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. The Undead series, published by Berkley, was introduced in mass market paperback but grew so popular that it is now released in hardcover. Pub date for Me, Myself and Why? is July 2009.