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The Devil Amongst the Lawyers: A Ballad…
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The Devil Amongst the Lawyers: A Ballad Novel (Ballad Novels) (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Sharyn McCrumb

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2733441,545 (3.33)24
Member:pmquilter
Title:The Devil Amongst the Lawyers: A Ballad Novel (Ballad Novels)
Authors:Sharyn McCrumb
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Mystery, ballad novel, historical, 1935, murder trial, Japan, Virginia

Work details

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb (Author) (2010)

  1. 00
    Never Seen the Moon: THE TRIALS OF EDITH MAXWELL by Sharon Hatfield (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: McCrumb's novel is a fictionalized account of the trial of Edith Maxwell.
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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
A young woman is in jail and awaiting trial for supposedly murdering her father. Reporters are arriving in this small Virginia coal town with only one thing on their minds , the stories that they will send their respective papers. If any of the stories contain even a small bit of truth it was probably an accident. Even her own brother is more interested in selling the story than in his sister's innocence or guilt. The jury is hardly her peers and nothing is exactly as it seems. You can't help but be frustrated with everyone involved. Keep in mind while reading this that it was a different world, a different time, and different values. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Unsettling view of the press. Good characters, place-setting, etc. Less a mystery of the crime being prosecuted than a mystery of the characters, mostly reporters, and how they'll behave. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Rehashing a 1935 murder case didn't do much for me, although a young Nora Bonesteel appears so there's a little bit of spookiness. ( )
  MikeRhode | Feb 21, 2014 |
I had to get the print book to figure out the characters at the beginning. I did enjoy it as I got more familiar with them. A sad picture of journalism as a profession. A little repetitious on that topic. I liked most meeting Nora Bonesteel as a child. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Another excellent book from Sharyn McCrumb's Ballad series. This, unlike her others in the series, is based on a true story. That gives it a different flavor and flair. I really want to take the time to research the basis for one.
  ChrissyChris | Aug 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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He had been there that day, all right.
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Book description
In 1935, when Erma Morton, a beautiful young woman with a teaching degree, is charged with the murder of her father in a remote Virginia mountain community, the case becomes a cause célèbre for the national press.

Eager for a case to replace the Lindbergh trial in the public’s imagination, the journalists descend on the mountain county intent on infusing their stories with quaint local color: horse-drawn buggies, rundown shacks, children in threadbare clothes. They need tales of rural poverty to give their Depression-era readers people whom they can feel superior to. The untruth of these cultural stereotypes did not deter the big-city reporters, but a local journalist, Carl Jennings, fresh out of college and covering his first major story, reports what he sees: an ordinary town and a defendant who is probably guilty.

This journey to a distant time and place summons up ghosts from the reporters’ pasts: Henry Jernigan’s sojourn in Japan that ended in tragedy, Shade Baker’s hardscrabble childhood on the Iowa prairie, and Rose Hanelon’s brittle sophistication, a shield for her hopeless love affair. While they spin their manufactured tales of squalor, Carl tries to discover the truth in the Morton trial with the help of his young cousin Nora, who has the Sight. But who will believe a local cub reporter whose stories contradict the nation’s star journalists? For the reader, the novel resonates with the present: an economic depression, a deadly flu epidemic, a world contending with the rise of political fanatics, and a media culture determined to turn news stories into soap operas for the diversion of the masses.

A stunning return to the lands, ballads, and characters upon which she made her name, The Devil Amongst the Lawyers is a testament to Sharyn McCrumb’s lyrical and evocative writing.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312558163, Hardcover)

In 1935, when Erma Morton, a beautiful young woman with a teaching degree, is charged with the murder of her father in a remote Virginia mountain community, the case becomes a cause célèbre for the national press.

 Eager for a case to replace the Lindbergh trial in the public’s imagination, the journalists descend on the mountain county intent on infusing their stories with quaint local color: horse-drawn buggies, rundown shacks, children in threadbare clothes. They need tales of rural poverty to give their Depression-era readers people whom they can feel superior to. The untruth of these cultural stereotypes did not deter the big-city reporters, but a local journalist, Carl Jennings, fresh out of college and covering his first major story, reports what he sees: an ordinary town and a defendant who is probably guilty.

This journey to a distant time and place summons up ghosts from the reporters’ pasts:  Henry Jernigan’s sojourn in Japan that ended in tragedy, Shade Baker’s hardscrabble childhood on the Iowa prairie, and Rose Hanelon’s brittle sophistication, a shield for her hopeless love affair. While they spin their manufactured tales of squalor, Carl tries to discover the truth in the Morton trial with the help of his young cousin Nora, who has the Sight. But who will believe a local cub reporter whose stories contradict the nation’s star journalists? For the reader, the novel resonates with the present: an economic depression, a deadly flu epidemic, a world contending with the rise of political fanatics, and a media culture determined to turn news stories into soap operas for the diversion of the masses.

A stunning return to the lands, ballads, and characters upon which she made her name, The Devil Amongst the Lawyers is a testament to Sharyn McCrumb’s lyrical and evocative writing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the wake of a sensationalized 1934 trial involving an Appalachian Virginia teacher's alleged murder of her tyrant father, novice journalist Carl Jennings is denounced by a greedy media determined to portray the defendant as a backwards mountain girl.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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