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Poisoned Justice: A Riley the Exterminator Mystery Book 1



“If you only read one entomological mystery this year…I’m not kidding. C.V. Riley is one part Sam Spade and one part Orkin Man and in Poisoned justice, he makes things interesting for his adversaries—be they eight, six, or two-legged.” Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Series, the basis of Netflix’s hit drama Longmire


What if an exterminator learns that the worst pests have two legs?

When an activist ecology professor is found dead in his hotel room, the police chalk it up to natural causes, but his wealthy and fiery widow is convinced it's foul play. She needs someone who can operate behind the scenes—in the dark cracks and gritty crevices of San Francisco. Riley the exterminator fits the bill.

Riley's career as a police detective was cut short when do-gooders saw him beat information out of a child kidnapper. Now running his father's pest control business, Riley pursues two-legged vermin on the side. Turned out an ex-con can be licensed as an exterminator but not a private eye.

Winged ants and dead flies at the death scene suggest something's amiss to a man who knows insects. The dead professor's students, each harboring a secret, reveal that their environmentalist mentor had plans to take down the pesticide industry. But he needed cash for the operation—and that put him on a collision course with a most unusual drug lord.

When Riley's investigation unexpectedly reveals that the drugs that poisoned his own brother might be connected to the professor's death, extermination is in order. But he'll need to join forces with an intoxicating South African beauty—a reluctant ally, armed with lethal poison. 

Can Riley rid San Francisco of its most deadly vermin?


Pen-L Publishing, October 2016.

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