HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers: A Ballad…
Loading...

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

by Sharyn McCrumb

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2303350,307 (3.27)25
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)

None
  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.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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 |
By far, the worst out of the series.

I think the McCrumb really lost something by deciding to stick with a single plot line. This book only follows the story of a young woman accused (maybe wrongfully, maybe not) of murder. In short, it's a re-hash of The Ballad of Frankie Silver, set around a hundred years later. However, instead of focusing on the sheriff and lawyers in the case, it tells the story through the newspaper men. There's the national reporters who have the story including vivid descriptions of the town mostly written before ever setting foot in the state and the more local reporter who is willing to try to see things as they are or might be.

I'm reminded of a recent (within the last 30-40 yrs, though I don't remember when exactly) documentary of an Appalachian community, where the videographers never took any footage in the towns but just documented the poverty of a couple of families in the country. The film was highly criticized because it only showed one side of the story - just the poor and ignored the vast majority that did have running water and electricity.

There's no question that the media can be heavily biased -- redneck jokes seems to be one of the few remaining types you can tell on TV without having to stammer an apology later. But, you know, I get it. I really do.

I got it when the reporters wrote their descriptions of the town before they arrived. I got it when they were using a novel set 50 yrs previous as "research material." I got it when they left town and went out to the country to try to find a dilapidated home to photograph to show how the area looked. 300 pages of preaching the exact same lecture over and over again with the same cast of characters is way too much. And there's no modern plot line to follow along the historical. We're stuck with the same obnoxious reporters for the whole book.

So, you have a repetitive plot line (2nd version of Frankie Silver) combined with repetitive lecturing. Sigh.

I'm very disappointed in this book - and after 2 books in a row with little or no modern component, I'm hoping McCrumb finds the balance between the modern and historical worlds in the next book about Tom Dooley. ( )
  Melanti | Mar 30, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
With The Devil Amongst the Lawyers, Sharyn McCrumb makes a welcome return to her Appalachian Ballad Series of mysteries with somewhat mixed results. The earlier books in the series typically combined a modern mystery with a mystery from the past, one immortalized in a ballad. The modern part of the story featured Sheriff Spencer Arrowood, and his connection to the mysteries from the 19th century was Nora Bonesteel, an elderly woman with second sight. In this eighth book in the series, McCrumb has dispensed with the present-day focus and has decided to focus on Nora Boneseteel as a young woman, setting her mystery in the more recent past in the 1930s. Fans of the series will be delighted to meet the 13-year-old Nora, who is as compelling a character as ever. The story revolves around Erma Morton, a young woman accused of murdering her father. Nora’s cousin Carl Jenkins is one of the journalists sent to cover the story. The mystery of the death of Erma’s father is interesting, and Carl unravels it with the help of Nora’s second sight. If the focus had been strictly on that angle the book might have been more successful, but the focus on the yellow journalism of the time and the side story of journalist Henry Jernigan’s travels in Japan are a distraction. Still, I’m glad to see McCrumb returning to her Ballad series and look forward to the next one.
(Note: This review was based on an advance reading copy. Some material in the finished book may differ.)
  betsytacy | Jun 8, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of
Dr. John D. Richards
First words
He had been there that day, all right.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:31 -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)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
19 wanted
1 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.27)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5 1
2 6
2.5 6
3 23
3.5 3
4 19
4.5 2
5 6

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,620,127 books! | Top bar: Always visible