Mrsgaskell's Reviews > The Hangman

The Hangman by Louise Penny
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's review
Feb 01, 12

bookshelves: 8-star, canadiana, library
Read on January 30, 2012

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. Inspector Gamache is called to investigate. Was this suicide or murder? The victim was staying at the Inn and Spa in Three Pines, registered under the name Arthur Ellis. This just happens to be (really) the pseudonym that was used by Canada's official hangman, and through Myrna, the used book store owner in Three Pines, Gamache learns that the Crime Writers of Canada give out Arthur Ellis awards. What was the victim's real identity and why was he in Three Pines? Besides Myrna, the only regular village residents we meet are Gabri and Dominique. And from Gamache's team only Beauvoir shows up. This book stands alone well and since it makes no mention of some of the dramatic incidents and development of the latest novels, readers who skip this will not really miss out anything necessary to following the series. Having said that, I enjoyed it very much and am glad I read it in spite of the limitations of the format.

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