Hotel owner and main male character
Simon Frost, owner of the alpine hotel Crystal Lodge; passionate skier; constantly trying to keep his family hotel going and to compete with his rival, Peter Best; organises a crime evening on New Year’s Eve that does not unfold as planned; attempts to find out who the real murderer is while keeping the real goings-on hidden from his guests and protecting them from danger; finally unmasks his friend Lucas as the ‘crossword puzzle murderer’.
Rival of the main male character
Peter Best, Simon’s rival; owner of the hotel Sunday River; lacks creative ideas to attract customers with the result that he plants a spy in Simon’s hotel and copies his rival’s ideas; considered the prime suspect; revealed to be innocent; assists Simon in his hunt to find the murderer; the rivals become friends in the end.
Friend of the male hero and the murderer
Lucas Miller, Simon’s childhood friend; aspiring pianist; since childhood he has been tormented by jealousy of his friend Simon; stages his own death and plans to kill Simon without being detected and to steal from his hotel; finally apprehended as the murderer.
Chef and spy at the hotel of the main male character (is murdered)
Benjamin Kurtz, referred to as Ben, Simon’s chef; large, burly man; spies for Peter Best, with whom he is secretly friendly; struck a death blow in the kitchen with a pan on New Year’s Eve.
Jeweller and businessman
Martin Harrison, a jeweller from London; elderly man who is with the young model, Andrea Kirst; believes that anything can be bought with money; business practices are not exemplary; not a good skier.
Young, beautiful model
Andrea Kirst, a young, beautiful model from London; in a relationship with Martin Harrison, but does not miss any opportunity to flirt with other men; flirts with Kurt Stevens straightaway.
Sprightly, intelligent elderly lady
Mona Winter, elderly woman around sixty; a genius with an IQ of over 160; speaks seventeen languages; loves contests, whether of a sporty or intellectual nature; inter alia a world fencing champion and the winner of numerous general knowledge contests; passionate love letters, which Simon stumbles upon during his investigations, testify to an active love life of the likeable older lady.
Likeable, somewhat masculine cleptomaniac
Cleopatra Jenkins, a middle-aged woman who dresses in very masculine clothes; short, grey hair; well-nourished; cleptomaniac but likeable.
Married couple that gets a divorce in the end
Kurt Stevens, husband of Silvia; runs a lingerie shop in Bristol together with his wife; notorious philanderer; embarks on an affair with Andrea Kirst that ultimately costs him his marriage.
Silvia Stevens, Kurt's wife; endures the escapades of her husband; after the incident with Andrea Kirst, she eventually files for divorce.
Unemployed mechanic (is murdered)
John Smith, unemployed mechanic from Manchester; loud and rather simple-minded; catches Lucas in the act of staging his own death and tries to blackmail him with the result that Lucas stabs him.
Chambermaid 1 in the hotel of the main male character
Stefanie, chambermaid in Simon’s hotel; long, blonde hair, about twenty; very shy and easily embarrassed.
Chambermaid 2 in the hotel of the main male character
Marie, also a chambermaid in Simon’s hotel; knows the hotel business and has an extreme aversion to Peter Best.
Kitchen assistant in the hotel of the main male character
Mark, kitchen assistant in Simon’s hotel; a gaunt young man with a goatee; minor role.
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Simon Frost, who has brown hair and blue eyes, has to save the hotel Crystal Lodge he inherited from his grandfather from ruin and compete with his rival, Peter Best, and the latters hotel - 'Sunday River' - at the same time. He is supported in this endeavour by his chef Benjamin Kurtz, also known as Ben, by the kitchen assistant Mark and by his chambermaids Stefanie and Marie. In order to save the hotel, Simon has organised a New Years Eve party for his guests, complete with a murder game. The jeweller, Martin Harrison from London, who is with the model, Andrea Kirst, also from London, the pleasant elderly woman, Mona Winter, the cleptomaniac, Cleopatra Jenkins, the mechanic John Smith from Manchester and the married couple Kurt and Silvia Stevens from Bristol, whose initial 'S' is significant during the course of the story, have all booked the hotel for the event. However, the planned game quickly becomes deadly serious when Simons friend, Lucas Miller, who is the pianist and who is responsible for the entertainment, is killed. Two further murders take place as well. Simon is busy inventing stories as to the murders so that the guests do not become aware of what is going on while he fights alone through snow and ice on New Years Eve and apprehends the murderer in a dramatic duel.