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Derailed

by Mary Keliikoa

Publishers Weekly Portland, Ore., PI Kelly Pruett, the narrator of Keliikoa’s winning debut and series launch, has inherited R&K Investigation following her father’s death the year before. Most of the agency’s work involves “process serving, court document searches, and the occasional tedious stakeout.” When Georgette Hanson, who looks to be in her mid-60s, knocks on the office door one rainy afternoon, Kelly gets her first serious case. Georgette wants Kelly to look into the death of her grown daughter, Brooke. A few weeks earlier, a witness saw Brooke fall into the path of a light rail train. Brooke had been drinking, and the police quickly declared her death an accident. However, Georgette believes the witness lied and asks Kelly to find out the truth. What Kelly discovers is that everything that Brooke told her mother about her life was a lie. Keliikoa offers believable characters, valid motives, a shifting cast of suspects, and an appealing protagonist, who balances her life as a divorced mother of an eight-year-old daughter with her increasingly chaotic career. This is definitely a series to watch. Agent: Michelle Richter Fuse Literary. (May)

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