Time Stops for No Mouse
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This first novel by a new American writer appears to have begun life as a modest local enterprise in Oregon, only to catch the eye of commercial publishers eager for the next best seller, complete with sequels and spin-offs. The speculators are likely to be disappointed. This is an engaging animal adventure story, with the disadvantage that the characters are so heavily humanised that for long stretches only the occasional mention of fur or paws reminds us of their nature. The hero is Hermux Tantamoq, a mouse who lives quietly as a watchmaker until Linka Perflinger, an attractive mouse aviator and adventuress, brings in her watch for repair. Hermux is captivated, and when Linka fails to collect her watch he finds a new role as chivalrous investigator and rescuer. Drawn into a world of mad scientists and ruthless business rodents, Hermux acquits himself well. The book is very good on incidental humour, some of it (such as satire on interior design and health farms) most likely to appeal to adults, while Hermux himself is an amusing hero whose tribulations make for a pleasant if unremarkable read. But the publicity makes much of the cautious servicemark 'Not Too Scary', and most children's verdict may well be 'Not Scary Enough'.