Time Stops for No Mouse (Hermux Tantamoq Adventures)
Title: Time Stops for No Mouse (Hermux Tantamoq Adventures)
Author: Michael Hoeye
It’s impossible not to like Hermux Tantamoq, the watchmaking mouse. He relaxes in a flannel shirt printed with pictures of cheeses from around the world, he has a caged pet ladybug named Terfle, he writes endearing thank-you letters to the universe each night, and he has a big heart—a heart that aches for the fearless aviatrix Ms. Linka Perflinger, who unexpectedly visits his shop requesting an emergency rush repair of her wristwatch. Little does he know that this brief rendezvous with the jaunty adventuress will change his life forever. When a week goes by without word from her, he doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry. He drafts a slightly unpleasant, then desperate, then not-too-sweet, not-too-sour letter to her and awaits her response. Nothing. Even nasty encounters with his neighbor (the horribly garish and affected cosmetics tycoon Tucka Mertslin) and pleasant interludes with his artist friend Mirrin don’t distract him from his new heart-quickening obsession.
His worst fears start to cement when a yellow-eyed, thin-lipped, sharp-tongued rat comes to his shop and says with a dreadful smile, “I’ve come for Linka Perflinger’s watch.” Hermux isn’t about to fork over his beloved’s watch without a claim check, and ends up following the rat… all the way to Linka’s house! And, what’s this? Is she being kidnapped? The plot thickens as Hermux boldly enters her apartment (what has gotten into him?) and discovers a mysterious letter from Teulabonari and an overturned spicy-smelling plant. As he says to his ladybug that night, “This is the beginning of a new career for me. Either as a detective or a jailbird. Only time will tell. If it turns out to be the latter I will be asking you for hints on decorating my cage.” Soon he begins to make a connection with these strange clues and the cosmetics mogul Tucka, who pulls him into her scheme to create eternal youth in a bottle (to be taken internally).
Suffice it to say that gentle Hermux gets in way over his head with his detective work and proceeds to have fur-raising encounters involving spies, thieves, killers, betrayal, the Fountain of Youth, snakes, calliopes, and dramatic rescue attempts. Throughout it all, however, Hermux continues to thank the world at large: “Thank you for corner grocers. For sandwiches and honey fizz. For scary news and narrow escapes and trolleys and shopping bags. Thank you for loyal pets and bold adventurers (and adventuresses).” Readers will be disarmed by Hermux’s earnest, inquisitive nature and zeal for life—and thoroughly engaged by the suspenseful action adventure. Highly recommended! (Ages 10 to adult) —Karin Snelson