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

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,829 ratings  ·  203 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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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...more
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
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
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...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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
When a man is found hanging in the woods outside of Three Pines, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called to investigate. At first it is thought that this is a suicide but the man who found the body has been acting odd and Gamache believes that there is more to this occurrence than meets the eye. In order to solve this case, he must first identify the body and figure out why he came to Three Pines; only then will the missing pieces of this murder puzzle come together and the murderer will...more
How delightful to come across this novella when I am SO waiting for Gamache #10 to come out soon.

Three Pines has Gamache and Beauvoir investigating a November death by hanging (murder/suicide?)with Myra discovering some essential information concerning the victim. He is an author who is traveling incognito under the name of Canada's long dead official Hangman.

It is rather a "closed room" mystery as the perp or perps can only be the present takers at the high end local Spa.

It's a 3.5 star round...more
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!
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.
Olivia Jennings
I needed something short and adore the full-length novels I've read by Louise Penney so tried this one. I really missed the spots of French but maybe she was told to keep them out of this book because of intended market. I don't know. But what really did get me what that Gamache didn't believe the man who discovered the hanging body and called the police. The man told Gamache that he didn't rush to try to help hanging man because it was obvious that he was dead. I believed him easily. I read to...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
I knew when I started that this was a short read, written for an adult literarcy program, as mentioned in other reviews. I read it because I was curious to see how this book differed from the others. My daughter who is a teacher said these are called "high low" books---high interest/low vocabulary. How wonderful to offer well written books for adults who might struggle with reading. While certainly not as rich and fully developed as the other novels in this series, it still tells a good story.
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
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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) Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6) The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5) A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)

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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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