Hotel Lionheart

by Hans Brunner




             I grew up at the dawn of TV and Rock and Roll in a crumbling 600-year-old hotel on the shores of Lake Zurich with a wacky bunch of relatives and domestic helpers that kept the old place going. All I ever wanted was a TV and to kiss Gisela Miranda. I got a lot more than I bargained for.


Felix Ward’s parents take up the lease of a crumbling old hotel in a small lakeside town. The hotel has a great hall with a stage and it soon becomes the meeting place for all the kids in the neighbourhood. As a fundraiser for a school camp they put on an epic stage play, starring everybody plus Luke’s pet crow. 

Felix hopes to see Gisela in the audience but nobody from the hill shows up. The hill kids don’t mix much with the lake kids. There is conflict brewing between the two sides. Felix needs a lot of help from his alter ego, the Lionheart, to finally get Gisela’s attention with a very public kiss in the school yard. It gets them into trouble from all sides.

Meanwhile, Felix’s dad takes on a new venture catering for the local shooting range where Luke accidentally gets shot. Recuperating at home he is molested by one of the boarders. Luke tells Felix who makes his dad go after the boarder.

Felix’s dad has a short trigger, like a landmine that can go off at the slightest touch. Felix’s plan works. The boarder disappears without a trace. On the surface, things are back to normal. But they are far from it. Felix worries about sending Dad after the boarder. Did he kill him?  His friendship with Gisela is on shaky grounds, too and then there is Eva, the girl he grew up with. When she leaves for London with her mum, Felix finally realises that his real love had been right next to him all this time. Eva promises that she’ll be back but one year is a long time to wait.

That winter the lake freezes over for the first time in seventy years. When the ice melts the body of the missing boarder is scooped from its frozen grave. Felix’s dad becomes the main suspect. The police think they have an open and shut case but it’s a lot more complex than that.  All it takes is a good lawyer to set him free. Felix waits. High school is about to start and finally there is news from Eva.