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Time Stops For No Mouse

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

In Brief: A gently entertaining book, without originality, but with charm.

Cover of Time Stops For No Mouse

Author: Michael Hoeye

Publisher: Puffin

Published in: 2002

Age Range: Children

Period: Contemporary

Setting: Some (indeterminate) small town

Genres:  AdventureHumorous


Characters:

  • Hermux Tantamoq, bachelor, watchmaker mouse who lives comfortably with his pet ladybird Terfle and who finds an adventurous streak after an attractive and dashing lady mouse fails to pick up a repaired watch.
  • Linka Perflinger, adventurer and aviatrix, loyal and attractive, she spends most of the story as a hostage.
  • Tucka Mertslin, arrogant and rich, former art student and now owner of a cosmetics company marketing the secret of Youth.
  • De Mennus, a mole who runs a shady laboratory doing research for Tucka Mertslin's cosmetics

Synopsis:

Hermux Tantamoq is a watchmaker living a quiet and comfortable existence until an attractive and dashing lady fails to return for her repaired watch. Tantamoq goes to her house in time to see her taken away and discovers a plot involving unscrupulous commercial and scientific interests after the formula for eternal youth.

Notes:

There's nothing terribly original in this book: a bachelor who finds a taste for adventure (cf Huntingtower and The Wind in the Willows), the congenial small town atmosphere, animals as main characters (Redwall), the Fountain of Youth (Tuck Everlasting) and of course the pairing of the unscrupulous scientist and the power-mad businesswoman.

Having said that, the book stays afloat nicely on the characterisation of the principals, each quirky but reassuring, the small-town high- class atmosphere of friendship and, albeit in a fairly small way, the plot. With one particular exception, everyone's pretty much what they seem so you know where you stand and the technique of employing animals as main characters has the effect of allowing a certain simplification of adult life while letting the author indulge in a little humour concerning cosmetic treatment on hair and so on.

It was five minutes before twelve o'clock noon. Hermux glanced up quickly at the clock. he was nearly finished with Linka Perflinger's beautiful wristwatch. he had cleaned, oiled and rebuilt its movement. He had carefully repainted the Roman numerals on its face with the smallest paintbrush imaginable. He had chosen new hands to replace the ones that had been mangled and twisted. And now he was setting them in place and attaching them to the driveshaft.

Moments later he placed the crystal cover in its gold setting and snapped it on to the watch. Done!

And with two minutes to spare!

He let out a great sigh of relief and closed his tired eyes a moment to imagine the frowning face of Linka Perflinger transformed by a smile of gratitude

Tuesday 1st January 2002