Times of London
Michael Hoeye’s Time Stops for No Mouse is written in short, urgent chapters well suited to its sassy, speedy narrative and its setting with an air of New York City. Hermux is a hard-working mouse whose life is turned around when adventuress Linka Perflinger walks into his world. What makes him a real hero though, is not just his courage, but his quirks, his resilience and his resourcefulness.
Hoeye cuts through the cuteness with a natural wit and sharp characterization, which should demolish age barriers.
New York Times
It’s easy to see why Michael Hoeye’s “Time Stops for No Mouse,” originally a self-published novel, was a cult hit before it attracted the attention of major publishers. It is a terrific adventure — a love story wrapped in a meticulously plotted thriller — with an endearing hero, a watchmaker named Hermux Tantamoq, who also happens to be a mouse.
When not at his watch shop or making a house call, the humble (if slightly neurotic) Tantamoq prefers staying home with his beloved pet ladybug. But Tantamoq’s quiet bachelor’s life is disrupted one day by Linka Perflinger, a beautiful pilot and self-professed daredevil who disappears after dropping off her damaged watch at his shop.
Tantamoq finds himself inexplicably attracted to this mysterious — and missing femme fatale, and sets off to find her and win her heart. Soon enough he is drawn into a dangerous scheme masterminded by the sinister Tucka Mertslin, cosmetics queen, and the aptly named Dr. Hiril Mennus, a plastic surgeon who runs a spa ominously called the Last Resort, in their pursuit of a formula to ensure eternal youth.
The story unfolds at a rapid clip, in short chapters introduced by clever titles matched with simple line drawings. At this pace, the book reads more like an adult thriller than a children’s book, with the occasional mention of the delights of moldy cheese and the perils of mousetraps serving as subtle reminders that its characters are in fact mice and rats. Still, young readers will be charmed by the hapless but hopeful Tantamoq, who in his journal gives thanks for the beauty he finds in places as diverse as installation art, cuff links, and doughnuts.
“Time Stops for No Mouse” is essentially an adventure novel (with a sequel on the way), but at its heart is an important lesson about beauty and the foolish notion that the only way to maintain it is by stopping time.
Watch out, Stuart Little, you have a literary rival. Hermux Tantamoq is an American watchmaker, city dweller and a singular mouse. So singular that Penguin have paid a record sum to secure the rights to the little creature's adventures, which begin when he meets the dashing Lika Perflinger - adventuress, daredevil and aviatrix. Hermux proves to be the most reluctant but persistent of heroes and an old-fashioned gentleman who is never going to get the girl even though he deserves to.
This pleasurably anthropomorphic story has bags of charm, a zesty plot, and the feel of a book that was written for the author's pleasure rather than with a specific eye to the children's market. It is a rare novel that doesn't talk down or up, but is just right.
Halfway through Michael Hoeye's Time Stops for No Mouse (Terfle, paper $12.95, 279 pp., ages 9 and up), I thought: Here could be a new Walter Brooks. In this first novel, Hoeye has created a hilarious community of city-dwelling animals and an appealing hero, Hermux Tantamoq. By virtue of his honesty, dreaminess, and infinite capacity to lose nerve, the fastidious mouse watchmaker has much in common with Freddy. Hermux lives with his pet ladybug Terfle and by an ironclad routine, which includes daily coffee and donuts you can almost taste. When the fetchingly imperious mouse aviatrix, Linka Perflinger, fails to collect a watch she wanted repaired pronto, Hermux starts nosing around and stumbles into the dark side of a cosmetics industry hell-bent on finding the secret of eternal youth. Where Brooks takes comic aim at violators of the social contract—greedy captains of industry, flimflam men, cold warriors, and authoritarians of all stripes—Hoeye trains his guns on the foes of beauty in all its unpredictable and idiosyncratic glory: decorators, postmodern performance artists, body tuckers, cosmetic purveyors. If his targets seem right up to date with the current American vanitas, so does his style. The Depression-era Brooks wasted nothing. Hoeye tends to the extravagant: in names, scenes, typography (consider yourself warned), and in squandering characters who might have lived into future books.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Hermux Tantamoq, watchmaker and gentle mouse-about-town, is back in this second adventure of amateur sleuthing. Intrigue abounds following the “cat”astrophic opening of the new exhibit at the Pinchester Museum of Art and Science. Mirrin Stentrill’s visionary paintings of the mythical CAT Kingdom have the militant rodent population all a-twitter. Cats have long been taboo, and Mayor Hooster Pinkwiggin vows to shut the exhibition down. Complications arise when Mirrin’s beloved chipmunk fiancé, Birch Tentintrotter, long presumed dead, reappears with an ancient map leading to the lost kingdom of cats. Will Hermux, Birch, and the plucky yet bored aviatrix, Linka Perflinger, find the ancient tomb of Ka-Narsh-Pah and unlock the hidden secrets of CATS? Will the self-serving cosmetics tycoon, Tucka Mertslin, claim the hidden cat treasures herself? Will revisionist historian Hinkum Stepfitchler III rewrite mouse history for another generation? The race is onand the adventure begins. Can a cat be in love with a mouse? Did cats ever really exist? Will Hermux finally find his love reciprocated?
The crackling, witty dialogue of Time Stops for No Mousecontines in this second Hermux Tantamoq Adventure. The crisp sense of time and place agains paints a full picture of the multi-specied citizens of Pinchester. Alive with humor, dastardly deeds, courage and honor, this novel will have readers nibbling at the bit for the next installment of the adventures of Hermux Tantamoq.
Hoeye's tale boasts the kind of minutely detailed world into which kids (and adults) can't wait to immerse themselves. (A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick)
What a great story! In the spirit of REDWALL and THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS comes Hermux Tantamoq, watchmaker mouse. Hermux's quest after a mysteriously attractive aviatrix (mouse) who visits his watch shop is told with bubbling good humor by Campbell Scott. The adventure leads to danger and romance and many a chuckle. Scott does an impressive job with the wild assortment of names. With great attention to detail he captures the mood of quiet absurdity throughout that will have you smiling at times and laughing out loud at others. A superb choice for family listening.
MetroWest Arts & Leisure
No Time Like Show Time, by Michael Hoeye is the third in the extraordinary Hermux Tantamoq adventure series. Hermux is a mouse with a knack for mystery, and this time he receives a plea from Fluster Varmint, the most famous mouse in show business.
The cast of characters is as rich as always, as Hermux is thrust from his usual back row seat to center stage. The first in the series, "Time Stops for No Mouse," and the sequel, "The Sands of Time," were both award winners. Michael Hoeye is, quite simply, the most creative author for this age group. The vocabulary, the stories, the character -- even the book printing style -- are all superb.