Margolin Moves to Minotaur
In a three-book North American rights deal, Phillip Margolin is moving houses, having signed with Minotaur Books for a new thriller series. Keith Kahla bought the books from Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar Literary. The first book, The Third Victim, follows an attorney who finds himself on trial for murder. Weltz said the novel features “surprising twists until the shocking end.” Margolin, who has more than 11 million copies of his work in print, was previously published by HarperCollins.

Berkley Picks Up Higgins for Seven Figures
In a seven-figure deal, women’s fiction author Kristan Higgins agreed to write four books for Berkley. The North American rights agreement was negotiated by Berkley’s Claire Zion and agent Maria Carvainis, who has an eponymous shingle. Higgins is a bestselling author of 16 novels, and her most recent, On Second Thought (HQN), was published in January. Her first book under this deal, Good Luck with That, is tentatively scheduled for 2019.

Malerman Takes ‘Carol’ to Del Rey
Del Rey Books’ Mike Braff bought North American rights, at auction, to two novels by Josh Malerman—the first is called Unbury Carol and the second is currently untitled—in a six-figure deal. Braff penned the agreement with agent Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary. Unbury Carol, which follows an outlaw racing against the clock to save his love from being buried alive, is, according to Del Rey, “a dark, lyrical adventure novel in the vein of Stephen King and Louis L’Amour.” Unbury Carol is slated for April 2018.

Millennial Activist Signs with Atria
After just two days on submission, Jhanteigh Kupihea preempted world rights, for six figures, to Amanda Litman’s Run for Something. Litman, who is 27 and worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, cofounded the organization Run for Something, which encourages millennials to run for office, shortly after her candidate lost the election. Sanford J. Greenburger agent Stephanie Delman, who represented Litman, said the book, which is slated for fall 2017, will serve as a “call to action” for young people to engage in politics, and will feature “testimonials from politicians and political operatives.”

Anderson’s ‘Witches’ Casts Spell on Simon Pulse
Simon Pulse’s Liesa Abrams nabbed North American rights, in a three-book deal, to a new middle grade trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily) called the Thirteen Witches. According to agent Rosemary Stimola at Stimola Literary Studio, who brokered the sale, the books follow an 11-year-old girl who is “trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s lost memory.” While investigating, the young heroine “discovers a layer underneath reality in which good and evil struggle in an eternal battle between thirteen witches and a benevolent goddess who lives on the moon.” The first book in the series is set for spring 2019.

S&S Kids Buys Ashley’s ‘Kosmo’
David Gale at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books bought North American rights to Jonathan Ashley’s Lily & Kosmo. Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media Group, who represented Ashley, said the book is “styled in the tradition” of such titles as A Tale Dark & Grimm and Flora & Ulysses. It follows a girl from Brooklyn (the Lily of the title) who longs to join an all-boy group of space cadets known as the Spacetronauts. To prove her worth and land a place in the club, Gottlieb said, she must show that she can “hold her own among the galaxy’s unruliest rascals.”

Greenwillow Grabs Middle Grade Debut
In a preempt for two books, Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow Books took North American rights to Jennifer Blecher’s middle grade debut, The Math of Me. Blecher, a freelance writer and former assistant DA in Boston, was represented by Alexander Slater at Trident Media Group. Slater said the first book, which is slated for 2019, is about a 12-year-old girl named Cove Bernstein who, having never left her small town on Martha’s Vineyard, “devises a way to get back to her best friend whose sudden move to New York City turns her world upside-down.”

Marvel Press Revives Black Panther for Kids
Award-winning children’s author Ronald L. Smith (Hoodoo) signed a world rights deal with Marvel Press to write a middle grade novel featuring the Marvel superhero Black Panther. (The character made his debut in the Fantastic Four and is considered the first black superhero.) This book, which is set in the mythical African country of Wakanda and present-day Chicago, will depict Black Panther in his youth. Adriann Ranta Zurhellen at Foundry Literary + Media represented the author, striking the agreement with Emily Meehan at Disney-Hyperion (where Marvel Press is an imprint). The book, which Hannah Allaman and Tomas Palacios will be editing, is set for January 2018, timed to hit shelves just before the release of the Marvel film featuring Black Panther.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of agent Adriann Ranta Zurhellen.