I’m not much of a winter person, but one of the great things about the season is the excuse to stay in and curl up with a great book! On a recent cold and dreary afternoon, I picked up this fantastic mystery and read it in a single sitting!

One by One by [Ruth Ware]

Ruth Ware’s One By One was the perfect read for a cozy winter afternoon. It was a classic locked-room mystery with some modern twists.

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech start-up, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

This title is a bit reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None, which was one of my favorite reads of all time. It’s a similar “locked room” mystery with a remote location, and a dreadful situation that got worse by the minute. I’d say this book is faster paced and more modern (I’m pretty sure Dame Christie never envisioned a company like Snoop). And of course, it’s hard to line up anyone against the incomparable Queen of Mystery!

One By One had quite a few unlikeable characters, and I didn’t trust any of them any more than they trusted one another… which is to say, not at all. The setting was wonderful, but I got bogged down a few times with skiing terminology. I mean, all I know about skiing is that some hills are scarier than other hills and you try to get to the bottom without falling down, so others may find those descriptions more interesting.

This one gets 4.5 stars from me. I’d previously read Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, and between the two, I’m a big fan and will absolutely continue reading her work. If you’re looking for a satisfying, quick-read mystery, this fits the bill. Happy reading!

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