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The inside scoop on the book world

The inside scoop on the book world — Romance writer Barbara Taylor Bradford will appear on a Caribbean stamp

STAMP OF APPROVAL The tiny Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has chosen romance queen Barbara Taylor Bradford to be the debut author on the Great Writers of the 20th Century postage-stamp series launching in November. ”I think the reason they picked me is because I’m such a popular writer in that part of the world,” says Bradford. ”It’s rather nice to be not dead and have this stamp.”

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS Move over, Bridget Jones: It looks like young female private investigators are the next hot thing. Villard has just agreed to pay $150,000 for SpyGirl, a nonfiction account of entering the business by Amy Gray, a twentysomething PI in New York City. ”It’s Sex and the City meets Harriet the Spy,” says her agent, Betsy Lerner. Meanwhile, come Labor Day, agent Joanna Pulcini will begin shopping Icarus Bound, a first novel by Leslie Silbert, another young PI who does investigative work for a firm in Manhattan. ”She brings detail and knowledge to her story,” says Pulcini. ”Plus, she’s young and beautiful.” Which of course never hurts in the publishing world … Beth Harpaz, a writer for the Associated Press, is hoping to do for Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign what Timothy Crouse did for the Nixon-McGovern battle nearly 30 years ago. She’s just signed with St. Martin’s Thomas Dunne imprint to write The Girls In the Van, an echo of Crouse’s 1973 best-seller The Boys on the Bus. ”It’s partially about Hillary, but it’s more about the journalists traveling with this woman and their interactions with each other,” explains Harpaz’s agent, Jane Dystel.