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The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6.5)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,153 Ratings  ·  402 Reviews
On a cold November morning, a jogger runs through the woods in the peaceful Quebec village of Three Pines. On his run, he finds a dead man hanging from a tree.
The dead man was a guest at the local Inn and Spa. He might have been looking for peace and quiet, but something else found him. Something horrible.
Did the man take his own life? Or was he murdered? Chief Inspector A
ebook, 96 pages
Published December 2011 by Grass Roots Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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I did not pick up anywhere, when buying this book, that this was a short novel/novella, neither was I aware that the story was written at the request of ABC Life Literacy Canada, for its Good Reads Books selection. The aim was to provide books for adults with reading difficulties.

Reviewed as such it worked. It is a fast-paced, simplified story of a man found hanging from a tree outside Three Pines. At first glance it looked like a suicide, but Chief Inspector Armand Gamache did not think so and
Ivonne Rovira
Author Louise Penny is not only a wonderful author but a genuinely good person. At the request of ABC Life Literacy Canada, Penny penned The Hangman to very particular specifications for its Good Reads Books selection (not to be confused with this website). These books serve adults with reading difficulties and, therefore, adhere to simpler vocabulary and a 100-page limit. It's an incredibly admirable goal: to provide intelligently written books that are accessible to all reading levels.

That's w
Sep 02, 2013 Ronna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a big fan of short stories or novellas because they never seem to go further than an outline type story, but I loved this novella by Louise Penny. When a man is found dead, hanging from a tree in Three Pines, Chief Inspector Gamache must decide whether this is a suicide or a murder. Everything points to murder, but the man has left a suicide note in his room at the Inn and Spa. The man's past will determine the answer.

One of the best things about Penny's stories is her little gems that a
Feb 01, 2012 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadiana, library, 8-star
This is a short (87 pages) novella written for a special series of books sponsored by a Canadian literacy organisation. They're all by Canadian authors, use simple, clear language, and are less than a hundred pages. I read this book because I will read anything that features the Quebec village of Three Pines and Inspector Armand Gamache.

Although it doesn't have the depth of the novels, this was a very good story. A body is found hanging from a tree in the woods near the village of Three Pines.
Gwyneth Stewart
Reading this story was a little like encountering dear friends you haven't seen in a long time at a large party. It's great to see them, but you don't really have a chance for a satisfying visit. This is a straight to ebook novella features an interesting enough mystery, with a number of twists in spite of its brevity. What's missing, though, are the things that make the Three Pines mysteries so wonderful to read--the nuanced and very human characters, their developing relationships with each ot ...more
ETA: I see from other reviews that this was written for a literacy project, to be no more than 100 pages and to use simple language. Under those constrictions, it was a pretty decent story. So, one more star.

Gamache Lite.

A short story, really, for the Louise Penny completist. In the Three Pines novels I've read so far, the puzzle is never the pay-off. It's the characters, the town, the psychology and the food that keep me reading. This was too short, too bland and too contrived. All puzzle and
It wouldn't be fair to rate this book in comparison to the other novels in Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series, as this one it was written for a literacy project. I didn't realize this when I started the book and wondered why the rich eloquent writing style I was accustomed to in this series had changed so dramatically. I missed the Three Pines characters and all the town coziness. I guess I expected too much out of this short little novella and can't say I would have missed anything by skippin ...more
This novella was written for a series of books for Canadian adults with reading difficulties. So the fact that it isn't written in Penny's usual style and that it could be set at almost any time during the series makes a lot more sense now. Feel free to skip this novella entirely.
Aug 06, 2016 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a short novella created for a series of Good Reads Books that promote Canadian authors. It did not advance the series or contain all of the main characters. It was a quick read and had a twist at the end that was interesting. It was okay.
Nancy (essayist)
Feb 14, 2014 Nancy (essayist) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, canadian, novella
I knew going in that this was really a short story, written for a Canadian literacy project, so I wasn't expecting much. I've realized, though, that I'm getting close to the end of the published Chief Inspector Gamache novels, so I'm trying to string them out as long as I can, savoring every word. In reading "The Hangman," I was interested to see how Penny would handle this format. This was pared to be just the mystery. It was, as always, a clever whodunit but without the layers of emotional com ...more
Laura Zlogar
Jan 09, 2015 Laura Zlogar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella is a very good read. I have now read two works by Louise Penny in the Inspector Gamache series. Armand Gamache has a little Hercule Poirot in him, in a French Canadian sort of way. He is thoughtful, careful, and smart. Penny is a very good writer--interesting characters, well conceived plots, and especially good description. This book focuses on the little village of Three Pines where someone has been found hanging in a tree in a nearby forest. Everyone is a suspect until the victim ...more
Kathy Davie
Apr 26, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I've set this short story between 6 and 7 in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series. The focus is, as usual, in Three Pines in Canada.

My Take
It's a conundrum worthy of Agatha Christie in this short and yet very complete story. You'll only realize it's brevity by how little time it takes to read.

You'll cry. You won't be able to help it. So many wasted lives. And it is Gamache who pulls together the clues they all unearth.

Few of the core characters appear, and there is one new one, Tom
Sep 02, 2014 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-library
Louise Penny wrote this book for a literacy program, so she was working with the parameters that the book had to be less than 100 pages and had to be written in simple, clear language. I'm having a hard time rating and reviewing this book, because I keep wanting to say things like, "For a book this short . . . " or "Considering the vocabulary is simple . . ." If I'm rating this book by comparing it to other novellas, I give it four stars. If I'm rating this book by comparing it to Penny's other ...more
Lori McD
I'd never heard about this story until I was looking up Louise Penny's book list for a friend. Surprise - it's a GOODREADS published Kindle/ebook!

While short, this standalone story grips you right away with Gamache and Beauvoir at the scene of a hanging. Lots of the usual misdirections and possible suspects, and a little of the folks that we love in Three Pines.

According to the publishing date, this story seems to take place before "Bury Your Dead", which is likely why there's not much mention o
Apr 21, 2012 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Louise Penny fans, Canadian Crime/Mystery fans, Adult Literacy readers
Louise Penny's "The Hangman" is a short story/novella that was published between the 6th & 7th Chief Inspector Armand Gamache full-length novels "Bury Your Dead" and "A Trick of the Light". It is part of a series called "Good Reads" where about a dozen Canadian authors have provided a short work for adult literacy promotion. You can see more about the program at Note that this has nothing to do with the website.

The plot of "The Hangman" involves an apparent
First Sentence: Armand Gamache didn’t like what he was looking at, but then, few people would.

A guest at the Inn and Spa in Three Pines is found hanged by a jogger. Inspector Armand Gamache and his deputy Jean-Guy Beauvoir are sent to investigate. The question is whether this is a suicide or murder.

This novella was written for Canada’s Literacy Project at the Grade 3 level for adult readers. The style and plot are very simple and, where characters in the series books, would use French words or p
Jim B
I've read almost all of the Inspector Gamache mysteries that have been published so far, and then discovered that I missed this little book, which is whimsically classified as #6.5, so I was glad to receive it as a Christmas gift.

Apparently written as a promotion through GoodReads, this is an 85 page skeleton of a Louise Penney book, perhaps to attract new readers (people trying out authors through this GoodReads project).

To make such a brief story, the author cut out all the things that people
Nov 06, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it
Louise Penny, Canadian author of the Inspector Gamache series of whodunits, wrote this little novella in 2010. It is an interesting mystery with clever and unexpected twists. Penny is skillful in crafting stories with an unexpected psychological component, and even in these few pages she has succeeded in creating a situation without an obvious denouement. The little book rewards the less than two hours it takes to read it.
Apr 22, 2015 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read. Quite different than the other Inspector Gamache books. Personalities are slightly different (colder, more aloof), friendships aren't as warm, being so short the mystery isn't as tense. But still an enjoyable read.
Alexandra Sterling
Not bad for what it is: I did not know that the Canadian good reads project was a literacy project. So I had the Kindle edition where you don't know how long it is unless you check the bottom of your screen. I found it oddly childish and finished it in one brief sitting.

Here is the problem: what sets Louise Penny apart from other writers is her nuanced telling of the story. Not to mention character development and creation of a mood. So this book was not for me as I feel that violence in art ne
Aug 16, 2013 Sher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't seem quite fair to compare this novella to Penny's novels as is the temptation. Short stories don't provide the space for fuller character and complex plot development readers have come to expect in her novels. The Hangman is a short story. Given what it is, it offers an easy, evening read allowing readers a quick fix of Gamache and Beauvoir. Having said that, I missed the full cast--especially Ruth--and sufficient dessert--Penny's delicious humor. I eagerly await the next installment ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I was preparing to read my book for my F2F Mystery book discussion this month, I realized that we were reading the 4th book in the series. I hate reading out of order but didn't want to miss out on the discussion. Turned out that I had purchased this short and assumed that it was part of the series. I read it before I actually started our discussion book and it seemed a bit simplistic but enjoyable and it did give you a glimpse of the small town of Three Pines which is the basic setting for t ...more
Sonya L Moore
Mar 16, 2015 Sonya L Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though this book has the same characters as the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Penny, it is not written for the same audience.

"The Hangman is a special book written as a novella for "emerging adult readers" as part of a Canadian literacy project. It is written at Grade 3 level intentionally, and is not part of the ongoing series of Inspector Gamache/Three Pines novels. When reviewing the book, please keep this in mind. You can read more about it on Ms. Penny's website, which can
Ms. Jared
This one was good, but since it was less than 100 pages, it didn't really get into the deep, rich character development I've come to expect from Penny. And it felt rather rushed.

I think it would have made a great novel to go along with the series and would have been much better with more insight and background into the actual story of the murdered guy and Gamache's search for the killer.

The premise was actually quite interesting: guy found hanging from a tree in the woods, suicide note found i
Tanja Berg
I love Louise Penny, but this is novella and it simply did not carry the substance of a full-length novel. A man is found hanging in the woods outside the village of Three Pines. The initial thought that it would be a suicide are discarded and Inspector Gamache handles it as a murder, despite the note left behind. This is a really quick read and as such perhaps worthwhile for the ardent Louise Penny fan. For all others, there isn't much point.
Jun 22, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this three and half stars. Penny is usually able to describe her characters and Three Pines with great nuance over many chapters. Here, she had 60 pages or so, and had to tuck in a plot as well.

Minus a half-star for resorting to the time-worn Agatha Christy trick of "You may be wondering why you're all gathered here--well, one of you is a murderer!"

But a nice appetizer while waiting for the next book.
Carolyn F.
Short story

I was so disappointed with this short story. I was like the author wanted to make a Christie-like story and failed miserably. I just didn't enjoy it at all and I usually love this series. :(
I didn't realize when I started this book that it was a special project. I give Ms. Penny 5 stars for writing it and for targeting an audience having reading difficulty. The book didn't have Ms. Penny's consistent writing caliber. Then I found the following: "Author Louise Penny is not only a wonderful author but a genuinely good person. At the request of ABC Life Literacy Canada, Penny penned The Hangman to very particular specifications for its Good Reads Books selection (not to be confused wi ...more
Nov 29, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was a good story, but I wonder why Louise Penny wrote a novella? That is just way too short a time spent with the good folks of Three, naturally, I am off to the next in the series!
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Around the Year i...: The Hangman, by Louise Penny 1 11 Feb 18, 2016 08:40AM  
  • Let Loose the Dogs (Detective Murdoch, #4)
  • Murder in Montmartre (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #6)
  • By the Time You Read This (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery, #4)
  • The Golden Egg (Commissario Brunetti, #22)
  • Theft of Life (Crowther and Westerman, #5)
  • The Crowded Grave (Bruno, Chief of Police #4)
  • Nocturne (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #13.5)
  • Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15)
  • The Long Stretch (The Cape Breton Trilogy #1)
  • A Hidden Secret (Kate Burkholder, #6.5)
  • Cop To Corpse (Peter Diamond, #12)
  • One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7)
  • Secret Santa
  • The Flinck Connection (Genevieve Lenard, #4)
  • Death at the Alma Mater (A St. Just Mystery #3)
  • Reading by Lightning
  • Siren of the Waters (Commander Jana Matinova, #1)
  • Crackpot: A Novel
Many of Louise Penny's books are published under different titles by UK/Canada and US publishers.
She lives with her husband, Michael, and a golden retriever named Trudy, in a small village south of Montreal.

Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards.

* Agatha Award: Best Novel
o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
o 2008 –
More about Louise Penny...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)

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“Gabri and Myrna were very rich indeed, rich in the things that matter. In friendships and laughter, in kindness and company. People rich in money might belong at the Inn and Spa, but those rich in other ways belonged in the tiny village of Three Pines. Here, kindness was the real currency.” 4 likes
“I am tired,” Gamache murmured as he walked into the gentle little village. “But I am at peace.” 1 likes
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