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The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6.5)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  4,829 Ratings  ·  455 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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Cathrine ☯
Nov 21, 2016 Cathrine ☯ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
In the throes of a reading slump and scrolling through available now on Overdrive this one comes up. Just perfect for a one hour bedtime story to get me through the night when nothing else was calling out to me.
Murder a la carte for Inspector Gamache in Three Pines. I guess he was in a bit of a slump as well and needed something easy to solve.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Sep 29, 2016 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A short Kindle-only novella featuring Gamache and Beauvoir. They're back in Three Pines after the discovery of a man hanging from a tree. Is it suicide or murder?

I completely missed the obvious answer.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Feb 27, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The short story is not really Louise Penny's forte, but after a bit of a generalized beginning, she manages to work some of her magic, even though she doesn't really have room to expand. It's a nice quick read if you don't have time to become totally immersed in a longer book - which was my reason for reading.
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!
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. :(
Jun 05, 2012 Bev rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louise Penny's contribution to the Adult Literacy collection, this short novel is a quick, easy read but depends on Gamache and his colleague to solve a murder. A taste of Three Pines to tide me over until her next full-length novel comes out later this year.
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.
Martha Curtis
Jul 20, 2012 Martha Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Armand Gamache Three Pines episode. Enjoy every single one of Armand Gamache/Three Pines books. Can't wait for the next one!
Nov 05, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well that was short and sweet!!! :)
Another great Armand mystery!
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The Three Pines: The Hangman #6.5 1 1 Jan 18, 2017 09:23AM  
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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