When one character accuses another of being a “horrible little…rodent…[a] nasty little vermin!” in Michael Hoeye’s Time Stops for No Mouse, on some level, there’s a bit of truth to it.That’s because this juvenile fiction book is populated by mice, rats, moles, squirrels, minks, and other assorted furry creatures.
A clever mystery novel at heart, Hoeye’s debut introduces us to Hermux Tantamoq –a big name for a little guy…er…mouse.Hermux is a solitary watchmaker in the quaint city of Pinchester (location unknown).Ruled by his passion for precision and his orderly jacket and bowtie, his world is turned upside-down by a new customer – aviatrix and adventuress extraordinaire Linka Perflinger.He is smitten with her beauty and zest for life, and out of a general goodness of character and an attraction to this beguiling stranger, he becomes involved in a dangerous game of cat and mouse…well, it’s really just mouse and mouse.
I loved this book for so many reasons.First of all, it’s just smart.The writing is clever and straightforward.There is no sense of “talking” down to the young audience, and yet it is open and inviting enough for readers of all ages to enjoy.And it really is a fun mystery.What I appreciated most of all is that Hermux is Hermux throughout all of his adventures in detective work.He doesn’t morph into the bumbling Joe totally out of his league (although he does have his moments!!), nor does he unlock his hidden “James Bond” and become a super sleuth.Somehow Hermux transforms into something he was all along – a mouse that has a little more strength than he knew, a mouse that has a little more smarts than he knew, and a mouse that appreciates beauty in ways unique to his own set of eyes.There is a sweetness to this story that is a valuable lesson for everyone.
I also have to say, I love the book’s dimensions and typeface.Little things to some, but it’s not always so bad to judge a book by its cover!(or font!)
To be practical, there’s nothing completely unpredictable about this story, but it is certainly fun to wind and wend through the various twists.And one tiny distraction:all the crazy names!!It took some time for me to let go of wanting to know ~exactly~ how to pronounce all of them.You won’t blame me when you see names like Pup Schoonagliffen, Tucka Mertslin, and Ortolina Perriflot.I suppose it all just feeds in to the whimsy of the book.
I was surprised to find that Mr. Hoeye is an Oregonian himself, so I’m pleased and excited to be supporting a local author!I also have the next two books in the Hermux Tantamoq series on hold at the library, and I’m looking forward to getting to know this mouse much better!
*Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link used.