PI Kelly Pruett is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about Deceived, the latest novel in the Kelly Pruett mystery series.
Welcome, Kelly. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
The latest book where my story unfolds is DECEIVED. I’m on the case to find out what’s happening inside a woman’s shelter after my client’s granddaughter goes underground, and another young woman is missing. Deceived is the third book in the series, which is aptly named after me!
The series begins at the beginning of my being an official PI. My dad died a of a stroke a year earlier and then I had my first case involving a young woman struck by a train. I share my life with my deaf daughter, Mitz, and I co-parent with my ex. As if that didn’t have its own challenges, his mom lives next door. Besides my sweet daughter, Floyd, my floppy eared Basset, is my sidekick, and Kyle Jaeger, my swoon worthy cop boyfriend is a big help in my investigations.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
I like to let the writer think she has control of the story, but I always have plenty of sway. When she thinks she knows where I’m going, I zig left. Or if she anticipates my left turn, I zig right. I have my own mind after all. I didn’t get to be a decent PI by letting other people tell me what to do (okay, I’m not near as good as my dad), but you get the point. I know how to think on my own, and thankfully my writer goes with it.
How did you evolve as the main character?
In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about being a PI, and after my ex-husband cheated on me with my best friend, I developed trust issues. But over time, I’ve learned to trust my gut and to trust other people. I’ve also come to realize that the people around me aren’t so much as trying to stop me from being a PI, but want me to balance my safety with the responsibilities of being a good mom.
As my half-sis likes to tell me, I can be a bull in a China shop on occasion, so it took me a bit to get that.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
My daughter, Mitz, and Floyd are my two favorite people (yes, I count my dog as people too). Both accept who I am and love me unconditionally. I don’t have to prove anything to them—although I am trying to show my girl what a strong capable woman is in the world. And that she herself can have anything she wants. That she should never let society define her pathway. Anyway—they are both my heart.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
I’m in a good place as far as feeling like I can handle whatever is thrown at me. But going undercover in the woman’s shelter has me a little off balance. I’m surrounded by the hopelessness of it, and so many young women that didn’t have good parental support for their choices. It breaks my heart to see the fear and sadness. But I also see I can help there. I will find the missing young women, and I will find out what debauchery is happening in the shelter before I’m through.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
If you enjoy character driven and twisty mysteries, I think you’ll really enjoy Deceived – and the entire Kelly Pruett mystery series. There’s no graphic violence and you can count on justice being served in the end!
Thank you for answering my questions, Kelly, and good luck to you and your author, Mary Keliikoa, with Deceived, the latest book in the Kelly Pruett mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Mary Keliikoa: Mary is the Shamus finalist and Lefty, Agatha and Anthony nominated author of the PI Kelly Pruett mystery series, and the Misty Pines mystery series featuring former Portland homicide detective turned small-town sheriff. Her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World and in the anthology Peace, Love and Crime.
A Pacific NW native, she spent years working around lawyers and admits to being that person who gets excited when called for jury duty. When not in Washington, you can find Mary on the beach in Hawaii. But even under the palm trees and blazing sun, she’s plotting her next murder—novel that is.