Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
by Mary Keliikoa

About Deceived

Deceived (A Kelly Pruett Mystery)
Cozy Mystery – Woman Sleuths
3rd in Series
Setting – Oregon
Camel Press (May 10, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 218 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1603818650
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1603818650
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09Q7SG18K

In the third thrilling book in the Kelly Pruett mystery series–Her world was falling into place. Then women started dropping off the map.

PI Kelly Pruett 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.

About Mary Keliikoa 

Mary Keliikoa 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.

Q&A With the Author

When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?

The minute I finished my first novel in my late twenties, I knew that I wanted to continue to write. I’d never really found a way to express what I felt or how I viewed the world (my parents were from the generation of it’s better to be seen, than heard). Writing allowed me to have a voice that I was always afraid of using and it felt safest having that voice through my characters. Even when I took a break to create a company with my husband—a break that would last 15 years—I never stopped believing that in my core, I was a writer.

What advice do you have for a new writer?

Keep learning your craft, but don’t let it replace actual writing. There are plenty of books to read, and classes or seminars, etc. that you can take to improve your skills. But you also need to be writing and experimenting. Even if it’s a page a day, or a short story, or just a chapter. Just be writing and implementing everything you’re learning. Like most skills, you get better by exercising those creative muscles, and that means getting used to letting your ideas flow to paper. 

What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?

Editing is one of my favorite parts and I find it easier than coming up with the actual story. That’s why it’s so important to get those ideas on the page. Sort of like throwing the clay onto the wheel. Once it’s there, then it can be formed into what you really want it to be.

What is your favorite part of this story?

DECEIVED is the third book in the Kelly Pruett series, and my favorite part of this book is really the culmination of the relationships. There’s been so much growth in all of the characters—Kelly most of all. But they’ve all come a long way in their view of family and how they support each other. I love how it all comes together in the end. 

Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why? 

I love the dynamics between Kelly and her half-sister, and so my favorite character to write in DECEIVED was Hannah. Hannah is introduced in the first book of the series, and then goes MIA in DENIED. So bringing her back was a bit of a challenge. Making sure her personality and her own motivations were well-defined. But the scenes that Hannah is in just really work I think, and I enjoyed exploring her relationship with Kelly.  

Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?

Probably the hardest character to write about was Linda, Kelly’s ex-best friend and current love interest of her ex-husband. There’s a lot of baggage between the three characters and making sure that I didn’t paint Linda as a complete villain was important. No one or situation is ever black and white. So just getting that balance right was sometimes hard. But in the end, I was happy with how the dynamics of the relationship and the characters changed.

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