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Kelly Pruett Mystery: Kickass Female Private Eye

Kelly PruettKelly Pruett returns in Mary Keliikoa’s latest mystery, Denied. 

 Interview with Kelly Pruett + Author & Book Info + Rafflecopter Giveaway


Denied by Mary Keliikoa

Kelly PruettA high-risk pregnancy. A dangerous secret. When her case turns deadly, can this investigator avoid racking up a fatal debt?

Despite her injuries, PI Kelly Pruett is eager to get back to work. So when a mommy-to-be hires her to locate her estranged dad, Kelly is thankful for the straightforward missing-persons case.

But as she rummages through his trash in search of clues, she uncovers gambling debts to gangsters… and a blood-soaked severed finger.

With her investigation no longer cut-and-dried, Kelly’s hunt takes a deadly turn when her quarry is found driven off a cliff to his doom.

And she’ll need more than her cop boyfriend’s help to expose the truth when the mob sends her a cease-and-desist notice with an explosive ending.

Can the determined detective take on the mafia and make it out alive?

To purchase Denied, click on any of the following links: Amazon   B&N     Apple     Kobo

Denied (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
Cozy Mystery/Woman Sleuth
2nd in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Camel Press (May 11, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 226 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1603817832
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1603817837
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08V3G2Z73


Meet Kelly Pruett

Hi Kelly,

Great to have you visit on my blog again. I enjoyed meeting you in Derailed and I’m excited to learn more about you in Denied.

Let’s get started talking about your latest job as a private investigator. In Denied, you get tangled up with the mob! How does that come about?

I assure you, I didn’t go looking for them! Although, these types of situations tend to find me. Anyway, I was just looking for my client’s father and I found out he loves the ponies. A trip to the Portland Meadows had me meeting all kinds of interesting characters, and the mob group was one of them.

You considered selling the agency your father left you after your first case nearly got you killed. What made you decide to keep R & K Investigations and continue your work as a PI?

I learned a lot about being an actual working PI in my last case, and a whole lot more about myself.

One of those truths is I’m tenacious.

My ex-husband and his mother would say too much so, but I also think that is an important trait in any investigator. When I get knocked down, I get back up. And determination to find justice for my client is always at the forefront of my actions.

Another dominant truth I discovered is I’m not cut out for a desk job. While coffee barista could be an occupation I’d thrive at since I love coffee, my skillset is rather limited…Being the daughter of a PI and growing up in the business is all I know.  I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

Your eight-year-old daughter, Mitz, is Deaf. How does her situation impact you as a parent? What have you had to learn to help her navigate in the world? Do you actively participate in the Deaf community?

I don’t view Mitz’s deafness as a limitation to her ability to create the life she wants. Because of that, I set out every day to show her what it is to be a strong woman. She faces the same things I do every day—which is combatting that society has a view on what you can and cannot do based on how they perceive you.

In Mitz’s case, it’s due to her being deaf. For me, it’s because I’m a woman doing what is often considered a dangerous job. Either way, I’ve had to learn not to listen to the naysayers, and keep moving. That’s how I model strength to my daughter, and I don’t intend to stop modeling that for her. Mitz can be and do anything, and I will forever support that.

Mitz does attend the Washington School for the Deaf. And while you don’t see a lot of my involvement in the book with her PTAs or class trips, both her father and I are always there for Mitz helping her navigate her world.

You live in Portland, Oregon. Tell us about your community:

Portland is such a diverse and rather hipster city that sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers, with snow-capped Mt. Hood standing watch. We are known for our lush green parks, bridges and bicycle paths. We’re environmentally conscious and we adore our microbrews and coffees. We’ve also become known for our food trucks and culture with our beautiful Japanese Gardens, museums and thriving art and music scenes.

But to every coin, there is another side. We have the Shanghai Tunnels, where legend has it able bodied men were dropped into and sold to ship captains in need of crew. We’ve had our share of serial killers, and we have the largest number of strip clubs per capita—which has contributed to our slogan: Keep Portland Weird. All to say with all of its various parts and history, it makes a perfect place to set a crime novel.

How is your relationship with your author? Is she pretty chill? Or do the two of you argue about everything? Do you two ever just hang out?

My author is very chill. She lets me have an opinion on most everything that happens in my world. Sometimes I can be a bit snarky…you would be too if someone is always telling you that you can’t do something. (Yes, I’m pointing at my ex-husband right now.) But my author also has a way of presenting the other side of that and she cleans up those opinions so that they are a little more balanced.

And she likes coffee. You can’t be too bad if you like coffee.

What would you like us to know about your author?

Well, the one thing about my author is she likes to make things difficult for me. It’s not that I go looking for trouble, I don’t. Like the whole mob thing—totally her idea. She thinks she has to put me up a tree or something and throw rocks at me. I think she learned that somewhere and I pay the price.

Thankfully, she also helps me get back down and I’m not usually in too bad a shape…. Okay, let me rephrase that. I survive.

She also likes to twist the endings around, which is why it takes me a bit to figure out the bad guy.

What are you up to next?

The next book is DECEIVED and my author has me going undercover in a women’s homeless shelter.

When a young girl goes missing, I’m going to be all kinds of busy trying to find her despite some resistance from a few sources. My ex-mother-in-law will also have an unexpected guest which I’ll be forced to adjust to as well.

But on a good note, my relationship with Kyle is going better than ever and Mitz and Floyd are doing great…although not even the most perfect things in my life avoid trouble… Okay, that’s all I’ll say about that.

You’ll have to wait until May 2022 to find out what kind of trouble that is!

We look forward to having you back then to tell us all about your latest escapades!


Mary Keliikoa

Kelly PruettMary Keliikoa is the author of the Shamus finalist and Lefty, Agatha and Anthony award nominated PI Kelly Pruett mystery series and the upcoming Misty Pines mystery series featuring Portland homicide detective turned small town sheriff slated for release in September 2022.

Her short stories have appeared in Woman’s World and in the anthology Peace, Love and Crime: Crime Fiction Inspired by Music of the ‘60s.

A Pacific NW native, she spent a part of her life working around lawyers. Combining her love of legal and books, she creates a twisting mystery where justice prevails.

When not in Washington, you can find Mary on the beach in Hawaii where she and her husband recharge. But even under the palm trees and blazing sun, she’s plotting her next murder—novel that is.

To learn more about Mary, click on her name, photo, or any of the following links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodreadsBookBub


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit all the Stops Along the Tour!

August 17 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

August 20 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 20 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

August 22 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 23 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

August 25 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 26 – ebook addicts – REVIEW

August 27 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 28 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 29 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

August 30 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT


Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite on-line retailers. And don’t forget many independent bookstores can order books for you and have them shipped to your home or for curbside pickup.

For more information on All We Buriedclick on the link here to visit the home page.

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020

Silver Falchion, Best Investigator, Finalist 2020

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