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How do I get Kniles' key? I've tried all the available dialog options, and my characters keep ignoring every mention of Kniles. Even if I tell her I come from Fort Joy, the only options is to either insult her for raising a Magister, or change the subject.

Do you have to leave Kniles alive to have the option available?
This is what I did: for her opening line (the prayer) I picked the scholar response, so she seemed pleased. Then she mentioned her son, and I wondered "if it's the Kniles I met", leading her to talk about his achievement. As I killed Kniles, there was an option to tell her that, but I chose to compliment her skill. This triggered the key checks.
*his skill
If you time it right, you can teleport her from the kitchen into the kitchen behind her with party member (nr. 1), have another party member (nr. 2) stand 'ready' to pickpocket her after she has been teleported out of sight of the other guests. The moment Prudence stands up, a dialogue starts with the party member who teleported her from the kitchen into the kitchen, before combat initiates. While that dialogue is ongoing, make sure to go in stealth with party member (nr. 2) and steal the key from her old ragged body. As soon as the dialogue ends, depending on the outcome of that dialogue, a combat ensues or not.

Make sure to clear out the kitchen first (quest-related Elf, but it is best she dies), before doing any of this.
If you kill her, you can loot the key. Otherwise you can just break down his door upstairs.
I think this one is bugged. I got the dialog that she was giving me the key but it didn't show up and the only door upstairs that needs a key won't open.
To get the key without killing her, you need to NOT tell her how divious her son was. Just tell her you knew him and have persuasion to at least 3 to get the key. Notes: If you had a female character when you spoke to Kniles you might recall a very divious character towards women especially. You learn a little more why in the dialogue with Prudence as she tells you she force him to chastity.
If you are a Scholar (or however it was called) 2 persuasion is enough. There is extra wits option.