Maybe I was predisposed to be a fan of mystery-solving mice after having seen The Great Mouse Detective so many times in my childhood, 'cause this gooMaybe I was predisposed to be a fan of mystery-solving mice after having seen The Great Mouse Detective so many times in my childhood, 'cause this good-hearted, donut-connoisseur watchmaker mouse has been very close to me ever since the eighth grade when I had the wonderful, borderline life-changing fortune of finding this book.
Hermux is a highly endearing ordinary-mouse-turned-successful-detective-hero-mouse. I remember being so delighted with his very sophisticated taste in clothing & food and his thank-you journal, among other expressions of his quaint sensibility. I like how the mundane--his work and home life (with his pet ladybug, Terfle) away from the action & adventure--gets some good attention. It becomes part of our conception of this world inhabited entirely by rodents (mice, squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, etc.).
You know how Hogwarts is such a fantastically real place in our reader imaginations? That is totally also Pinchester, which for me has been so charming and fascinating in all of its little details. I walk the streets with Hermux, I sample donuts with Hermux, I go on chases and have near-death experiences with Hermux.
We also get our first glimpse of the adventuress Linka Perflinger who is definitely as classy as Hermux himself, and meet the fabulous, outrageous Tucka Mertslin. Great villain. And OH, the freaky plastic surgeon dood in this one! A predictable hidden bad guy, but no worries: this does not take away from the story's serious enjoyability.
(All of the characters have odd names, so I had to keep looking back at first to keep track, but you'll be surprised how much easier it becomes once you get into the story (and the series). The character of the unusual-sounding name becomes linked to the character itself in a very groovy way.)
Silly, clever, scary, funny, classic, and exceptionally thrilling. I dig it--and continue to loyally follow the series (which does not stop getting better!).
6.4.09 notes: I thought of writing a review for this book today after seeing the new Disney-Pixar film Up! which reminded me a lot of Hoeye's series in its eccentric and/or charming story elements and atmosphere and overall heartwarming-ness. If Hermux had a movie, it would be like this.
Also I just realized that there's a scene in Time Stops for No Mouse that is very, very similar to the one in The Great Mouse Detective. INTERESTING! ...more