Make sure you read the book from cover to cover: Russell Ayto introduces his cast of characters in this comedy even before the title page, placing them in order of intelligence starting with the most intelligent.
The story begins outside a house – the wrong house, but the one where mouse catchers, Mr Bosh (the boss) and his assistant (with squeaky shoes), Mr Bumble have parked their van. Then with correct house located, Mr Bosh sends in his assistant armed with traps, to do the job. The resident mouse however is a clever creature and the traps won’t work unless trodden on – something of which the rodent is aware but seemingly not Mr Bumble who ends up well and truly sprung. Time for plan B. Mr Bumble is despatched to fetch a cat.
What follows is a comedy of errors that begins when Mr Bumble returns with ‘nearly a cat’. In other words a guard dog ‘Specially trained to protect houses from intruders.’ I’ll say no more except that the plan falls flat on its face, completely and utterly, leaving the mouse anything but trapped.
The author ends reassuringly, stating that ‘no animals were harmed in the making of this book’. That’s a relief, but this reviewer was almost in need of repair after reading this side-splitting performance.