By Claire Harlin
Amanda Carlisle is an empath who uses “mind forensics” to help detective Nick Caswell solve crimes — in Del Mar.
That’s the plot behind “Freud’s Revenge,” a new mystery novel written by PJ Adams, who will hold a book signing and discussion Sept. 24 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Earthsong Books (1440 Camino Del Mar). The book is the first in a series of mysteries that incorporate psychological theories of well-known thinkers like Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, who greatly inspired Adams during the nine years she taught their philosophies as a professor at the La Jolla-based National University. A former North County resident, Adams chose Del Mar as the setting for her books because she loves the area.
“It’s a great place, a beautiful setting,” she said. “It’s intelligent, artistic. It’s just a charming setting to place a mystery series.”
The book makes references to known places like L’Auberge, Il Fornaio and other hot spots around the Del Mar Plaza. The characters reside in Del Mar.
Adams — born Pamela Jean — assumed a genderless pseudonym in order to avoid gender bias, she said. Not only does using the pen name add mystery to the mystery writer herself, but she looks up to authors like J.K. Rowling who have found success using their initials.
Adams has gotten ideas for her mystery plots from crime TV, the news and everyday events, she said. A psychotherapist working out of Carlsbad who once worked in the publishing industry for more than 15 years, she deals with patients from all walks of life, she said, some functional, some non-functional and some who are in the criminal system.
“I love mysteries,” said Adams. “People are mysteries.”