BOOK BITES: Limestone Gumption

Bryan E. Robinson recently shared a fabulous guest post on this blog about his inspiration for his mystery/thriller LIMESTONE GUMPTION: A BRAD POPE AND SISTERFRIENDS MYSTERY (Five Start Publishing, Hardback 2014/Sunstone Press, Trade Paperback 2016.) Today he joins me again to share a “bite” of the novel, along with a recipe for Southern Fried Chicken!

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Who is your main character? Tell me about him. What is he like?

My protagonist, psychologist Dr. Brad Pope, is to the mystery/thriller genre what Anderson Cooper is to broadcast news. A reluctant sleuth who outsmarts the cops, he solves crimes when the police fumble the ball.

What would Brad Pope choose for his last meal?

He wouldn’t want to die on an empty stomach. He would go back to the comfort food from his Southern roots and ask for fried chicken with rice and gravy or meatloaf with homemade mashed potatoes.

How about you? What would you choose for your last meal?

Probably homemade corn bread from scratch with real butter melted over the top, slow cooked pinto beans, onions, homemade slaw, and artichoke relish on the side. It would calm me down and allow me to sop my way into heaven. BTW sopping is a Southern tradition.


The paperback version of LIMESTONE GUMPTION was released in March 2016. As in most Southern noir murder mysteries, food is an integral part of the story, and each dish is included in a recipe list at the end of the novel. Reminiscent of The Help and Fried Green Tomatoes, this offbeat, fast-paced mystery blends humor and dark plot, keeping you on the edge of your seat or making you fall out of it laughing as it witnesses beauty and brutality in a small Southern town. When Dr. Brad Pope returns to his boyhood hometown to settle a debt with his long-lost father and cantankerous Grandma Gigi, he becomes a prime murder suspect. His hopes of proving his innocence are hindered by the surprise horror surrounding his father’s whereabouts and sinister secrets of the Women’s Preservation Club. The six quirky Sisterfriends in the club founded by Grandma Gigi—whom Brad expects to jabber about preparing Sunday’s church bulletin or the next bake sale—start to look more like cold-blooded killers than church ladies. Glued together because of a sinister deed, the women are more than friends but not exactly sisters, hence Sisterfriends. As Dr. Pope learns of more dead bodies, his suspicions sour into the clabbered taste of fear. What had the women’s club planted in their welcome garden on the outskirts of town? Camellias or Corpses?

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

I am sharing one of Brad’s favorite meals to die for: Southern Fried Chicken. The recipe can be found in the Women’s Preservation Club Recipes in the back of the novel along with another of his favorites Mangled Meatloaf and potato salad.


1 (3 pound) frying chicken cut in pieces

3 cups buttermilk

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups self-rising flour

4-6 cups vegetable oil

Soak chicken in buttermilk in large bowl for 4 to 6 hours in refrigerator. Drain chicken in colander. Salt and pepper each piece of chicken. Dredge chicken in flour, covering all areas of chicken. Place floured chicken on a plate. Pour oil in large skillet, allowing it to become hot at 350 degrees. Add each piece of chicken slowly. Cook until golden brown and tender Serves 8 to 10 hungry mouths.

Thank you so much! I went to school in the South, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had fried chicken. I sure to love it! And I am looking forward to reading LIMESTONE GUMPTION!

You can find out more about Bryan E. Robinson and LIMESTONE GUMPTION on his WEBSITE, on AMAZON and on FACEBOOK.

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