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(A Kelly Pruett Mystery #1)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  124 reviews
A dying wish. A secret world.
Can this grieving investigator stay on the right track?

PI Kelly Pruett is determined to make it on her own. And juggling clients at her late father’s detective agency, a controlling ex, and caring for a deaf daughter was never going to be easy. So she takes it as a good sign when a letter left by her dad ties into an unsolved case of a young wo
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Epicenter Press
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
First in a new series, Derailed is an exciting mystery.

Kelly Pruett is a private investigator working on her own. She inherited her late father’s agency and is doing her best to leave behind her controlling ex.

Kelly finds a letter from her dad that is tied somehow to a cold case involving a woman hit by a train. Was it an accident or was it murder? Kelly is on the case and putting all the pieces together.

I really grew to love Kelly. She became stronger during the story and with the hardships she
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
First in a new series, Derailed is an exciting mystery.

Kelly Pruett is a private investigator working on her own. She inherited her late father’s agency and is doing her best to leave behind her controlling ex.

Kelly finds a letter from her dad that is tied somehow to a cold case involving a woman hit by a train. Was it an accident or was it murder? Kelly is on the case and putting all the pieces together.

I really grew to love Kelly. She became stronger during the story and with the hardships she
G.L. Jackson
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I was lucky enough to read a pre-publication version of Derailed. This mystery ticks all the boxes for me: a strong female PI, a canine sidekick, a business that's on the rocks and desperately needs success, a dark, gritty atmosphere--and a grand cast of characters painted in strokes subtle enough that it keeps the reader guessing about which ones are good and which ones have truly questionable motives. As if that's not enough, Pruett's family life is such a pressure cooker that it tugged at my ...more
Dianne Freeman
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in an exciting new series by Mary Keliikoa.

After years of helping her late father with his private detective business, Kelly Pruitt is working her first solo case while juggling life as a single mom with a clingy ex-husband and a bossy ex-mother-in-law. The case was closed by the police as accidental death by commuter train, but the mother of the victim isn’t convinced. Neither is Kelly once she digs into the shady lifestyle of the victim. As the investigation reveals mor
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Check out all of my reviews at:

DERAILED (P.I. Kelly Pruett Book #1) by Mary Keliikoa is the start of a new female P.I. series by a debut author. This is an intriguing mystery full of characters with secrets and plot twists which take you as well as this inexperienced P.I. down many paths before ultimately discovering the truth.

P.I. Kelly Pruett is trying to make it on her own after her divorce and the death of her father who left her his detective agency. Kelly
Samantha Verant
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Keliikoa has penned an exciting murder mystery, complete with a strong PI female protagonist, a budding romance with a sexy cop…and a lovable dog. Along with the fast-paced prose, snappy dialogue, and well-developed characters, the plot twists/turns kept me guessing and turning the pages until I finished the book. I absolutely adored tough and tender PI Kelly Pruett, the relationships she had with others, including her deaf daughter, her ex, and his mother, and how she refused to give up, even w ...more
Tracy Clark
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a dazzling debut by Mary Keliikoa. Kelly Pruett is a tough female PI you can really get behind. Pruett's tough, smart, determined, vulnerable, unsure at times, very sure at others, absolutely unstoppable. When Derailed begins, Pruett has just inherited her late father's detective agency and finds herself the sole operative on a complicated case of a young woman killed by a train. Suicide? Murder? Things get real as the number of shadowy clues and dodgy suspects mount, but Pruett more tha ...more
Linda Strong
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Private Investigator Kelly Pruett has inherited her father's detective agency. Although she's still a rookie, she is determined to make it on her own ... something she's sure her father would approve of. It won't be easy ... she's taking care of a deaf daughter, an ex-husband with control issues, and now her very first case.

The mother of a young woman who supposedly threw herself in front of a train wants Kelley to look into what really happened to her daughter. The police have it down to an acc
Liv Arnold
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love detective novels with a murder mystery. I enjoyed the characters. Kelly is so relatable. I liked her dynamic with her ex husband as co parents. Even though he cheated, they still care for each other.
Her love interest Kyle is a beautiful soul.
I kept turning the page eager fo find out what happened next. Whenever I thought the murderer was one person, more surprises came.
Caitlyn Lynch
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
PI Kelly Pruett’s father left her two things… his investigative agency, and a message that said if Georgette Hanson ever came to her for help, she should give it, no questions asked. Less than a year after her father’s death, Kelly’s making her way mainly as a process server, just scraping by. So when Georgette turns up with a check for $3,000 and a request to look into her daughter’s death, Kelly’s not just putting food on the table for herself and her Deaf daughter Mitz, she’s fulfilling her f ...more
Darcia Helle
I love PI fiction because we don’t have to play by all those pesky rules of law enforcement. In Derailed, Kelly Pruett takes on her first death investigation, and she’s happy to bend—or break—those rules when necessary.

Thank you, Mary Keliikoa for giving us a strong female lead who isn’t popping pills, drinking heavy, looking for a man to save her, or making ridiculous choices in her personal life. Kelly Pruett is a responsible, divorced woman trying to manage her fledgling career while raising
Sue Em
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Rounding up from 4 1/2 stars as I am delighted to read a fresh voice in the PI genre. Kelly Pruett inherited her father's PI firm, but has only been doing skip tracing and process serving. That is, until a woman asks for her help in looking into her daughter's death. As Kelly's father left her a letter requesting that she help if this woman of she ever needed it, Kelly felt she had no choice. Of course, her ex and his mother vehemently oppose her putting herself in danger. Kelly may be inexperie ...more
Rebecca Hodge
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book of a new series, DERAILED has it all: a twisty plot, an engaging female PI, and plenty of shady suspects. The Portland, Oregon setting adds great atmosphere, and the realistic chaos of detective Kelly Pruett’s home life adds a layer that sets this book apart. This story wraps up nicely but leaves the reader with plenty to look forward to in the next book of the series. Fans of Kinsey Millhone should definitely check this one out.
Cindy Sample
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mary Keliikoa knocks it out of the ballpark with her debut mystery. Excellent writing, well developed characters, and nonstop plot twists make for an excellent read. Kelly Pruett, the P.I. protagonist, is a strong but caring woman, and readers will in turn care about her, both her complicated family life and professional career. I can’t wait for the sequel.
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Derailed, (A Kelly Pruett Mystery Book #1), Mary Keliikoa, author
For anyone who has been thirsting for another of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone mysteries, get ready for a treat. There is a new author in town, Mary Keliikoa. She has created a new girl in town, a private investigator to rival, if not surpass, Kinsey. Dear readers, please welcome Kelly Pruett! She will not disappoint. She is a spunky, perseverant young woman who, as a single parent, is trying to juggle a recent divorce, the death o
Todd Simpson
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fabulous book. I knew after the first chapter that I would enjoy it, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Mary Keliikoa has done a great job with this interesting and entertaining plot, however it’s the characters that are the standout, especially Kelly Pruett. You can’t help but like her. I also really enjoyed that I couldn’t guess what was going to happen from one moment to the next.
Kelly Pruett was doing ok as a private investigator after her father passed away and she took over his
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am very impressed by this first novel by author , Mary Keliikoa. Mystery novels are my favorite genre and she nails it !
Kelly Pruett is a private investigator , living in Portland , Oregon. She is the divorced Mom of an 8 year old daughter who was born deaf. She and her ex share in the caring for Mitz, their daughter. Kelly has taken over the PI practice of her recently deceased Dad. He left a letter for her to please help an old client, Georgette Hanson if she contacts her ....and she does.
Fee (Ebook Addicts)
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, read-in-2020
* edit to add review *

Private Investigator Kelly Pruett has inherited her father's detective agency after his death, and she is determined to make it work whilst juggling a controlling ex, and caring for her deaf daughter.  A woman, a letter and a promise to her father see's Kelly delve into a cold case of a young woman struck by a train that brings to light all sorts of family secrets.

This case for Kelly is a tough one to crack and the closer she gets to the truth the more her life becomes in d
Lin Perrett
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book had me gripped from page 1. Kelly Pruett Private Investigator has had a difficult year. She discovered her husband had a affair with her best friend. Then her beloved Father passed away suddenly. Kelly has taken over her father's Private Investigation business. Her first client Georgette asks for help investigating her daughter's death. The police believe it was a tragic accident but Georgette is convinced otherwise. Kelly takes on the case as her father left her a mysterious letter as ...more
Barbara Conrey
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is nothing better than falling in love with a book, knowing it's the first in a series, and looking forward to the next as soon as you close the cover on the first.

I love secrets, especially secrets between family members. Derailed has lots of secrets, lots of hints, lots of "Whoa, I did not see THAT happening!" It definitely is my kind of book, and I was thrilled when a friend recommended it to me.

Character development is great; the female protagonist is strong, and there's a dog!

Lots of
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became aware of the debut novel in Mary Keliikoa's Kelly Pruett series thanks to the Jungle Red Writers blog.

And as usual, discovering books via the blog paid off quite nicely (as an aside, when the copy I ordered arrived at my home I discovered that my copy is signed but I don't know how that came about).

Kelly Pruett is a PI. Newly divorced and running her late father's private investigator agency, she's saddled with a husband who tries to control her, a mother-in-law who abets his attempts a
Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
Wow! This is a fantastic debut series! Keliikoa's writing talent shines strong with this first installment to her Kelly Pruett Mystery series. From start to finish, I was on a roller coaster ride, following Kelly through the twists and turns of her first solo PI mystery.The plot line and the amazing characters that Keliikoa chiseled were fantastic! I stayed up late into the night, turning page after page, needing to know what was happening, who did what and  was Pruett going to solve the case.

Agnes (BookBubbe)
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to #Netgalley I received an ARC of this book. I found out quickly that I loved it. I do love a mystery but this one had twists all through the book. From the beginning to the end just when I thought I knew what was happening, another surprise popped up.

Kelly Pruett is a P.I. following in her father's footsteps. When she gets a case that her late father instructed her to take, she gets totally involved. And finds out it was more than just investigating whether the client's daughter was kil
Ann Griffin
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Gripping, Fast-paced Novel with a Gutsy New PI

Kelly Pruett, PI, is a new, scintillating character joining the pantheon of female detectives we know and love, such as the late Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone. Kelly Pruett lives in Portland, Oregon, where she grew up with a father whom she adored, and who taught her much of the work of private investigating. Kelly’s father died recently. While sifting through his papers, she finds a mysterious letter urging her to help a friend, Georgette Hanson, n
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BY Mary Keliikoa

This was a non-stop, suspense filled ride from the beginning to end. So much mystery surrounding the accidental fall of Brooke Hanson onto the train tracks of an oncoming train. Or was it on purpose?

That seems to be the question when Brooke’s mother hires Private Investigator Kelly Pruett to look closer into her daughter’s death. This is PI Pruett’s first case since inheriting her late father’s business. One that she grew to know and love working under his wing throughout
Wow, just wow. Fans of Janet Evanovich novels will love Derailed. A novice female investigator, a sexy cop, a criminal to locate, this book has all the makings of a Stephanie Plum novel! The story was fast pasted and full of twist and turns. The author has a way with making you fall in love with the main character and although she has little skill you’ll find yourself cheering her on. I read the book in one sitting!
Kelly Pruett has inherited her fathers P.I. business and although she has no for
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mary Keliikoa's debut novel, Derailed, is a page-turner you'll want to read until the end.

Left with her late father's detective agency, Kelly Pruett is determined to juggle work, caring for her daughter, and her personal life. When a woman comes in asking for Kelly's help to find out what really happened the night her daughter was struck by a train, Kelly can't turn her away. After all, Kelly's father left her a letter telling her to help this woman out if she ever needed it.

As Kelly begins unco
Joann Im
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Derailed is the first book to the A Kelly Pruett Mystery series written by Mary Keliikoa. Starring a strong female protagonist, the murder case in this novel definitely was intriguing. The story follows our protagonist Kelly Pruett who inherits her late father's private investigation agency and accepts her first murder case. We spiral down into the victim Brooke Hanson's dark and complicated life and our protagonist Kelly is racing against time to solve this mystery. Through Kelly's determinatio ...more
David Morgan
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kelly Pruett's first case as a PI after inheriting her father's business is one doozy of a mystery!
The mother of a recently deceased woman comes calling on Kelly to investigate her daughter's passing. Was it an accident? A suicide? Or murder?
Kelly isn't sure she's capable of taking on the case until she reads a letter from her father that states if this particular woman comes asking for help, Kelly must help her no questions asked. Full of surprises, twist and turns this story keeps you on your
Karren Hodgkins
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it for the entire story.

The plot is intelligent and well thought through.

The characters are well-written and relatable. Lots of plot twists that keep the reader on her toes throughout. Unsurprisingly nothing is quite what it seems and the PI has to work hard and consistently in order to get to the truth.

I loved how her extended family care for her and so, understandably, this creates some real tension as Kelly is a highly involved an
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Mary Keliikoa is the author of the award nominated DERAILED, and DENIED, PI Kelly Pruett mysteries. Her short stories have appeared in Woman's World and in 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

Other books in the series

A Kelly Pruett Mystery (2 books)
  • Denied

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