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)
First off, let me start by saying, many of my friends know that I am a huge rodent advocate. I love the little fury creatures as if they were my own children.
I adore novels about them even more. I’m going to mention the ending first, as it is by far the BEST ending that could have arose from the entire novel. It was a most definite finish to a novel, leaving no stone unturned and wrapping things up quite nicely. Sometimes when I read a longer novel, I feel the author ends it abruptly, perhaps because he or she has to. That is not the case here.
Anywho, I love how it was written. For a few moments I would forget that this was a mouse we were talking about, with rats, moles, and otters as bad guys. The only time I would remember is when the author would go into a description phase at some points about whiskers, fur, and paws.
It made me grin, because it’s a great light hearted read even though it’s surrounded by mystery, murder, deceit, and adventure. That’s a lot for one little mouse.
Hermux is a great character, well developed for a mouse, and I love how he kept true to himself throughout the book. I have to say if I were a mouse I would get along quite well with him. ;)
Tucka was my least favorite character. She was so rude and mean, and focused to much on what doesn’t matter. When she was first introduced, I knew she’d play an important role, but I couldn’t believe how outrageous her character was!
The adventure that is crammed into this 250 page novel is worth every turned page. I feel that this book is geared more towards teens, perhaps even younger, since it’s surrounded by mice, rats, moles, and all sorts of rodents, and he language at times can be childish, but the actual plot and mystery feels more like it gears towards adults. I’m not so sure, all I know is that I love this book, and the feel it has. It had me grinning nonstop, and engrossed at the most random moments at the most random things.
I daresay this would make an incredible movie. :)
Now Available for anyone who wants a trade.
Book 2 in the year 2011