Weldon Owen Announces the English-Language Publication of "The JerryMaya Detective Agency" as eBooks

Best Selling Swedish Children's Book Series Comes to the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Weldon Owen today announced the release of Sweden's best-selling children's book series in English for electronic readers, "The Lasse and Maja Detective Agency". The San Francisco-based publishing company released the first five books in the series in digital format. It will be available on Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and Apple iBook for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. These English-language eBooks will be available worldwide.

"The LasseMaja Detective Agency", which will be called "The JerryMaya Detective Agency" in English, is an international best-selling series, with over 1,600,000 copies sold to date in Sweden alone and 2.5 million copies sold worldwide. The 19-book series has also been translated into over 20 languages so far. The series has been adapted into both a television series and a movie, and even more films are in the works. Author Martin Widmark has been hailed as "the children's Agatha Christie". The tremendous success of the series has also drawn comparisons to that of Stieg Larsson's bestselling "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" franchise.

The first books from the series to be released in digital format are:

  1. The Diamond Mystery
  2. The Hotel Mystery    
  3. The Circus Mystery   
  4. The Café Mystery   
  5. The Mummy Mystery   

For a limited time, Weldon Owen is releasing the first volume, "The Diamond Mystery," for free in the Apple iBookstore from today (May 25) until the end of August 2011.

About the Series:

Jerry and Maya are best friends and, in their spare time, they run a highly successful detective agency together. In the first book, "The Diamond Mystery", the police are at a loss when several diamonds go missing from the local jewelry shop. The jeweler calls on Jerry and Maya to solve the crime and help save the business — but everyone who works in the shop seems to have a motive.  Jerry and Maya follow the clues and uncover who is really behind it all.

Fast Facts about the Series:

  • 19 titles to date
  • 1.6 Million copies sold in Sweden
  • 2.5 million sold worldwide
  • Over 20 languages
  • Targets 6 to 9 year-olds
  • 80 to 100 pages per title
  • Features half-tone illustrations

About the Author

Martin Widmark was born in 1961 in Sweden and today lives in Stockholm with his family. He has worked as a middle school instructor and a Swedish teacher for immigrants, but he is now a full-time children's book author. Over his career, he has also written several text books. He is fascinated by life's little oddities and anything unique from food and music to languages and people.

Widmark is considered a literary giant of contemporary children's fiction in Sweden. Both his Nelly Rapp and Lasse Majas series are consistently on the best seller lists and have received critical acclaim. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.  http://www.martinwidmark.se

About the Illustrator

Helena Willis was born 1964 in Stockholm, and now lives outside the city with her husband and two daughters. She's been working as a freelance illustrator since she graduated from Beckmans College of Design in 1991.

About Weldon Owen

Over the past 25 years, Weldon Owen has built a solid reputation as a leading creator of illustrated nonfiction books, while becoming accomplished at creating and publishing branded books for major national brands and retailers. It creates and publishes more than 60 trade titles each year.  One specialty is its lauded cookbooks, which number more than 300 titles, with over 30 million copies sold. Most have been produced for Williams-Sonoma through an 18-year alliance. Other partners include Kellogg's, Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group and Bonnier's Saveur  Magazine. Weldon Owen's visual reference unit has produced both children's titles and family/adult reference books and series. Partners for this include major retailers such as Pottery Barn, PB Kids, The Body Shop, 3M Post-it Notes, Hallmark, Gymboree and Bonnier's Parenting magazine. Based in San Francisco, Weldon Owen was founded in 1986.

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