Citywide Blackout

Mary Keliikoa shares her third book and growth as a writer

July 8, 2022

In Mary Keliikoa’s “Kelly Pruett Mystery” series, a grieving single mother inherits her late father’s PI business, and begins tackling mysteries on her own, leading her into dangerous territory.

Following the success of the series debut, “Derailed” (2020) and sequel “Denied” (2021), Keliikoa has released another installment,“Deceived,” through Camel Press. Here's a look at the plot for the new book.


Kelly finally feels like she’s coming into her own. With her personal life well on track, a gig uncovering what drove a client’s granddaughter underground could be good for business. But after her undercover operation at the homeless shelter reveals rampant drug dealing, she’s suddenly kicked off the case... just as another girl goes missing.


Vowing to expose the truth even if it means pro-bono work, Kelly is taken aback when her half-sister helps her hunt down answers in a tent city brimming with distrust. When her investigation doesn’t move quickly enough to save a second woman from a vicious murder, Kelly doubles her efforts unwilling to accept defeat.


Mary and I dive into the plot of the new book, as well as Kelly's challenges from the other two. We look at how the main character and author have grown over the years, and how Mary feels about her writing career with three titles now released.


Mary talks about her work as a legal secretary and how this helped her as a writer. We look at the stereotypes of mystery books and some of the things she strove to avoid in this series.

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