The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Novella)
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The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Novella)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,455 ratings  ·  166 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...more
Published December 2011 by Grass Roots Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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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...more
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...more
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....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...more
Apr 21, 2012 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
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
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
I excitedly went onto the Louise Penny page to check "To Read" the new title coming out in Aug, "The Long Way Home", when the title "The Hangman" an Chief Inspector Gamache mystery caught my eye. Never having heard of this title I looked into it and discovered from Louise Penny's site that it is novella "written as part of a program called GoodReads Canada (no relationship to, which was created by national literacy organizations to publish b...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.
A brilliant short story, set in idyllic Three Pines

A brilliant short story, set in idyllic Three Pines

Louise Penny is one of my favorite mystery writers. This novella, put out as part of Canada's abcliteracy good reads group is exceptional. I have always believed short stories and novellas are harder to write as you must stay true to and develop the characters quickly while maintaining your theme and plot with care. I enjoy the fictional Three Pines and wish it were a real place to visit. I may...more
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.
Kari Ramirez
I pride myself on following the clues in the books I read to their logical conclusion and for the second time Penny's killer took me by surprised. To my credit this was a shorter story so there wasn't a lot of story to go on, but still while I was reading I was questioning things and for some reason the killer's true identity alluded me!

I love her writing. I love Three Pines. Armand is a wonderful character and his supporting cast are just as delightful. The only thing I didn't love is the cover...more
Martha Curtis
Another Armand Gamache Three Pines episode. Enjoy every single one of Armand Gamache/Three Pines books. Can't wait for the next one!
Nancy (essayist)
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
Although under 100 pages, there is a lot going on in these pages. Very good entertainment.
This was a short story but I still loved it! Thank you Jan for telling me about this story!
It was a nice easy read I'm for sure going to continue with the series.
Brenda Funk
A good short read...I prefer books a little bit longer though.
This is a very quick read and you can easily finish this one in one sitting. I am giving this novella 3 stars just because it is written by one of my favorite authors, Louise Penny, but feel it is missing so much of what I love in her full novels that it puts me off a bit. I wish I had a bit more history on why she wrote this book. It seems to me that it would have been a good original concept piece upon which her later novels, the ones I love, could be based. This is only my guess, however, and...more
Well that was short and sweet!!! :)
A short story, well written.
A jogger has found a man hanging in a tree in the woods. The jogger is evasive and lies, and Gamanche is suspicious. They find a suicide note on the dead man's bed, and figure out who he really is. The name he registered under is the name of the former executioner. The real man's wife and daughter were killed by a truck with four teenagers. No one was ever prosecuted. Was the executioner taking matters into his own hands? Why was he the one who was murdered?
Warning: This is not a typical, full-length Louise Penny mystery. As such, I'm rating it for the value it offers in relation to its intent.

The Hangman was written as part of Good Reads Canada (nothing to do with this site, by the by) a non-profit organization promoting literacy. (See ABC Life Literacy Canada). As part of this body of work, it is an excellent offering.

I have had the pleasure of volunteering in literacy organizations, as a private tutor, and this book would have been a sure-fire...more
A nice, quick read if your a Louise Penny fan in need of a fix before the new book comes out in August. It was a little confusing for fans of the series because in the novella, Gamache was the head of homicide for the Canada Provincial Police instead of the Surete du Quebec. I think this was because this novella was written to promote literacy in Canada and was meant to be an "easy read" for people to develop a habit of reading. Kudos to Ms. Penny!
Altivo Overo
They call this one a "novella" but it's hardly more than a short story. That said, I felt as if this were the outline for a full novel that would be more typical for the author. She normally develops characters in some depth as well as setting a complex scene. This feels like it was done in a hurry. Though the puzzle is in fact complicated and has an O. Henry-like solution, the whole thing hangs on knowing the characters and setting from her other novels.
Bill Hall
The Hangman was written for a Canadian literacy project that featured short stories and limited vocabulary. Thus, outside of the setting and main characters, the book doesn't resemble the depth and quality of Penny's regular mystery series. The story is a quick read, not only due to its length, but also due to the lack of character development. I'd gotten so used to Penny's remarkable characters and experiencing the events of their lives that I actually missed that aspect of this story.

Due to t...more
Penny takes the reader through a peaceful stroll in the woods of Three Pines where a body is found hanging in a tree. I say stroll because throughout the story one feels like they are indeed on a stroll solving the mystery until suddenly they are surprised at the ending. I immediately began reading another of her books. Delightful.
Amber Adamchuk
I wanted to try a short story to see if I wanted to venture into more Inspector Gamache Novel's - and my answer is Yes I do . He is a likable Inspector the town sounds like a place I'd like to visit. The author did not over describe things and draw things out. It was enjoyable to read. I look forward to moving forward with more Inspector Gamache.
Janet McCord
I suppose this should count a 1/2 because it was a short novella. Louise Penny does her usual masterful job of writing a compelling story and a puzzling murder in just a few short chapters. It was easy and quick to get through but still satisfied and was very enjoyable. She was a little less poetic and descriptive than usual because of length constraints but a really absorbing story nonetheless. I had no idea until the end how it was going to turn out!
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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
More about Louise Penny...
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) 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)

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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.” 1 likes
“I am tired,” Gamache murmured as he walked into the gentle little village. “But I am at peace.” 0 likes
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