In 1934 all the national publications sent their star reporters to remote Virginia to cover the trial of Erma Morton: a beautiful 21-year-old year old mountain girl with a teaching degree, accused of murdering her father--a drunken tyrant of a man.
Eager for a new cause celebre to capture the public's imagination, they were counting on reports of horse-drawn buggies, run-down shacks, children in thread-bare clothes--all of the stereotypes of mountain life. But among them is Carl Jennings, an 18-year-old mountain boy on his first job. An eager, honest journalist, he reports accurately--describing telephones, electricity, gas stations, and coal company executives.
So when their reports conflict, Carl is condemned, while the seasoned journalists perpetuate the myths of country life--and Erma Morton's guilt or innocence is literally sold to the highest bidder--a wronged woman on trial sells papers. Soon, it is not the murder that is of interest: but the vultures attracted by the deaths. In the midst of all this, Carl continues to search for the truth, relying on his younger cousin, Nora--gifted with the "sight"--for help.
A stunning return to the lands, ballads and characters upon which she made her name, Devil Amongst the Lawyers is a testament to Sharyn McCrumb's lyrical and poetic writing.