ELIZABETH REED ADEN at Books Inc. Mountain View

Author image of Elizabeth Reed Aden and cover photo of her book The Goldilocks Genome

Join scientist and local author Elizabeth Reed Aden at Books Inc. Mountain View for meet & greet and celebration of her novel The Goldilock Genome!

The suicide of a woman being treated for depression initiates a cascade of events leading to a rash of unexplained deaths. When FDA epidemiologist Carrie Hediger inadvertently uncovers these deaths, she’s left with pressing questions: Are these deaths connected? What do they have in common? Are more deaths to come? Carrie and her team buck the system to find the answer.

When San Francisco–based FDA epidemiologist Dr. Carrie Hediger uncovers a rash of unexplained deaths while investigating the suspiciously convenient death of her best friend, she becomes determined to find answers—even if it leads her to a murderer, and even if confronting authority, using her wiles, and bending the rules to get justice risks her future in the FDA.

To unravel the puzzle, Carrie assembles a team: some talented post-doctoral fellows, a quirky pharmacologist, an unctuous chemist, and a skeptical FBI agent that she can’t help her attraction for. Together, they follow the data through the twists and turns, eventually uncovering that the Goldilocks effect in prescription drugs—the premise that people are inclined to seek “just the right amount” of something—is central to understanding these mysterious deaths. Through the twists and turns, Carrie and her team enter a race to uncover the truth . . . and catch a killer.

Grounded in real data analysis techniques, real science and pharmacology, and actual current psychiatric practices, The Goldilocks Genome is simultaneously a taut, race-against-time thriller and a condemnation of the psychiatric industry’s failure to implement genetic-based “personalized medicine”—a problem that persists to this day.


“Who would have thought that the world of personalized medicine and pharmacoepidemiology—the study of patterns of drug utilization and effects—could combine to make such an interesting tale of revenge and serial murder? This is a taut and thoroughly researched first effort from Aden—she intersperses her remarkable knowledge of pharmacology, epidemiology, and biochemistry with an even more detailed knowledge of wine and a veritable culinary tour of Bay Area restaurants. The result is a fascinating scientific whodunit that you’ll think of at every hotel banquet you attend for the rest of your life.”
—George W. Rutherford, MD, AM, Professor of Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine, Pediatrics and History, University of California, San Francisco

“This is a complex, fast-moving, and scary novel with really new and important insights into recent key advances in personalized medicine or pharmacogenomics. It is scientifically plausible and is a great introduction to the detective work that is essential in modern epidemiology and pharmacology. Definitely the first medical thriller of its kind.”
—Dr. Jonathan Knowles, Former Head of Group Research, The Roche Group

Goldilocks is an absolute page-turner, weaving current topics such as personalized medicine, mental health, and greed into a story of sophisticated pharmacological mass murder and revenge. The plot is exquisitely tuned with credible science and lavishly sprinkled with references to Bay Area culture with some European accents. Jess Walter with a hint of Crichton. You’ll feel at home in this book. I couldn’t let go of it and read it in one go.”
—Wouter Latour, MD, vaccine industry executive

The Goldilocks Genome is the most exceptional medical thriller I’ve ever read. . . . I’m so happy that I had the chance to read such a compelling and cleverly plotted mystery. . . . This memorable mystery features a unique mix of real science, pharmacology, real data analyzing techniques, and actual current psychiatric practices. It’s packed with gripping suspense and painful truths about the limitations of standard psychiatric treatment practices. The author powerfully illustrates the need for personalized medicine and its benefits. I highly recommend this informative medical thriller . . . ”
Readers’ Favorite

The Goldilocks Genome is an enjoyable and well-paced pharma-thriller with a Crichtonesque and frankly terrifying level of scientific realism. Reed Aden’s unnerving critique of the medical establishment’s lax attitudes toward embracing personalized medicine will leave you reaching for a bottle of Prozac . . . then thinking better of it.”
—Dan Romik, PhD, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Davis

“In an era when science is despised and disparaged, along comes Elizabeth Aden to make the complex coherent. In The Goldilocks Genome, she takes complicated scientific concepts and spins them into a gripping thriller. Only Betsy Aden can make isocarboxazid and nialamide sexy.”
—John DeDakis, novelist, writing coach, and former Senior Copy Editor for CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

“Join Dr. Carrie Hediger in her search for a killer intent on revenge. Can Carrie convince the FBI to join the hunt? Few, if any besides author Elizabeth Aden, a biomedical anthropologist and former pharmaceutical executive, have the knowledge and skill to write an engaging mystery at the intersection of genetic research, pharmacology, depression, and murder.”
—Barry Fulton, author of the Thomas Sebastian Scott espionage/mystery series


Elizabeth Reed Aden, PhD earned her doctorate in bio-medical anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. After conducting extensive epidemiology and serology studies and teaching as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she began career in the pharmaceutical industry, where she rose to be Senior Vice President for Global Pharmaceutical Strategy at a major Swiss pharmaceutical company. After leaving Big Pharma, she held leadership positions in various biotechnology companies, founded and co-founded biotech companies, consulted for a wide range of clients, and served on Boards of Directors. Since 2017, she has brought multiple previously unpublished cozy murder mysteries written by her godmother, Eunice Mays Boyd, to print, among them Dune HouseSlay Bells, and A Vacation to Kill ForThe Goldilocks Genome is Elizabeth's debut medical thriller. She is currently working on a memoir, Hepatitis Beach, which she hopes to have published by 2025. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Event date: 
Saturday, June 29, 2024 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc. Mountain View
317 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
The Goldilocks Genome: A Medical Thriller By Elizabeth Reed Aden Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684632541
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Please allow up to 48-hours for Curbside Pickup orders to be processed.
Published: Sparkpress - May 21st, 2024