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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Chalet’
by Catherine Cooper
First Lines

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts


This is a meme for all you ‘First Page Browsers’

Cover image of the book 'The Chalet' by author Catherine Cooper



Press Association – 18 January 2020
 A British national is reported to have died at the ski resort of La Madière, France.
Details are as yet unclear.
More to follow.
Cover image of the book 'The Chalet' by author Catherine Cooper
December 1998, La Madière, France
“I hate these kind of people. They come out here on holiday once a year with their brand shiny new Salomon this and K2 that and think they know it all. They’re so annoying. They know nothing compared to me.
‘So we want some virgin tracks today. Back country. Somewhere no one else goes. Somewhere a bit challenging. Know what I mean?’ says one, his accent plummy and entitled.
Yes, I know what you mean. You think you’re it, just because you went on a few trips with your posh school and now your smart City job or whatever pays enough for you to come out skiing once or twice a year. Well, let me tell you, you’re not. That’s why you have to pay someone like me who actually knows what they’re doing to come with you as soon as you venture off-piste. For all your flash gear and trying to use the right lingo, you know nothing about the mountains. Nothing.
But of course I don’t say that. These are my clients, after all. Instead I say: ‘Yup, no problem. I know exactly the place.’
I smile, rictus-like, and answer their pointless, predictable questions as we take the various lifts up to the very top. Yes, it’s fun living in a ski resort. Yes, I live here all year round. I lie about how long I’ve been here – I always do – that’s none of their business. No, I don’t have any plans to go back to the UK, etc., etc., etc. I love the mountains. They are my home. And my job would be  almost perfect – if only I didn’t have to deal with clients.”

Cover image of the book 'The Chalet' by author Catherine Cooper

So, you have taken a look, would you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise …

Image of author Catherine Cooper


Cover image of the book 'The Chalet' by author Catherine CooperFour friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years laterFour people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

You might like to visit our host for this event, Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • We just drove up to Timberline on Mt. Hood, a ski resort, the other day and the place was swamped with summer users on bikes and other things. Your story wouldn’t even have to be a winter story! Ha!

    • Hi Anne,

      I think this is a winter storyline, only to keep true to the choreography of the backstory and of course because the cold weather gives this particular ski buddy even more chance to complain about his clients – but haven’t we all done that behind our customers’ backs, no matter what job we have?

      Are you a skiing family then? I do hope that you were all nicely socially distanced, although if it was as busy as you say, I guess not everyone else was! A bit like the idiots on the beaches over here!

      We are still basically staying away from people as much as possible and I hope that you are staying safe 🙂

      The book was excellent by the way, my review is scheduled, but it’s 4 out of 5 stars from me! 🙂

    • Hi Lorraine,

      If you think you might enjoy a modern twist on a very Agatha Christie(ish) style of story, then you should definitely check it out, it has received nothing but good ratings and reviews!

      The character who is having this not very nice internal monologue with himself about his clients, turns out to be not a very savoury character, so watch out for him further down the line!

      I quite often find myself having these personal little monologues going on – After all, at least I know I am going to get the answers I want to hear 🙂

    • Hi Mareli,

      I have already finished reading this one and when you say chills and thrills, you couldn’t be more accurate. Everything turns out to be a little cold and calculated and I definitely wouldn’t want to be a victim of this person’s wrath!

      It is still available to request on NetGalley, if you have an account and I think you might enjoy it!

      Have a peaceful and safe weekend 🙂

  • This sounds great! Considering how irritating I find “snobs”, I’m entertained by the narrator’s attitude in these opening lines. Of course I don’t exactly know where the story is going, but an attitude like that could make one a major suspect in a murder!

    • Hi Kelly,

      Snob is the nice way to describe this person, but there are several more ‘colourful’ words which would definitely be more appropriate, not that we haven’t all complained about clients or customers behind their backs, I’m sure! This person is more of a whinger and complainer, with very slippery shoulders, putting it mildly!

      It’s funny, but about an hour or so ago, Dave and I were only discussing the type of person who volunteers for one of our national charity’s in particular and that word ‘snob’ did get mentioned 🙂

      I couldn’t possibly comment about the second part of your comment, but if you are in the mood for a relatively quick and easy murder/mystery, with a few cold and calculating twists in the tale, then you might enjoy this one!

      Have a good weekend and as always, thanks for your support 🙂

    • Hi Roberta,

      I know what you mean about the heat. Here, it is probably nowhere as hot as you are in Arizona, but for us Brits, we are experiencing some of the hottest temperatures we have ever had and before last night, I can’t remember the last time we had rain. We had one almighty storm and enough rain to float an ark and it has cleared the air a little, although they say it will another couple of days before we have some fresher conditions coming in!

      The cold and snow is definitely a feature of this murder/mystery – Oh! and by the way -The story isn’t half bad either 🙂

      Seriously, I read this one in a couple of sittings and it gets 4 out of 5 from me.

      Thanks for stopping. Here’s hoping for some cooler conditions for you soon and stay safe 🙂

Written by Yvonne