Mild-mannered watchmaker Hermux Tantamoq is a quiet guy for a mouse. He likes nothing better than to fix clocks and watches, and then go home for a nice pot of soup and the company of his pet ladybug, Terfle. Bliss for Hermux is his ten a.m. break for coffee and a chocolate donut at Lanayda Prink's coffee shop where he daydreams and watches the world go by. One day, the daredevil aviatrix, the attractive and determined Linka Perflinger, brings her watch into Hermux's shop, telling him she needs it fixed immediately. When she doesn't come back at the appointed time to pick it up, Hermux is by turns annoyed, perplexed, and then worried. Where could she be? Then a sinister grey rat comes into the shop and demands Linka's watch. Suspecting foul play, Hermux follows the rat, only to see Linka being hustled into a limo. Before he knows it, Hermux finds himself embroiled in mystery, intrigue, and danger.
What's so deliciously fun about this book is the eccentric cast of small mammals and lots of small details, including descriptions of Hermoq's colorful clothes, which will inspire readers to draw portraits of the many memorable rodents of Pinchester. This will also be a very popular selection for book club discussion groups. Sequels include The Sands of Time and No Time Like Show Time. Mouse-loving fans of Brian Jacques' Redwall, Beverly Cleary's Ralph S. Mouse series, and Avi's Poppy are going to be in heaven with Hermux.
Reviewed by JF.
Themes: ADVENTURE AND ADVENTURERS. MICE. MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE STORIES.
Putnam Juvenile, 2002
Suggested Ages: 9 -13