Sands of Time (Hermux Tantamoq Adventure Series)

Sands of Time (Hermux Tantamoq Adventure Series)

4.4 16
by Michael Hoeye

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Our favorite mouse and watchmaker, Hermux Tantamoq, is up to his ears in trouble again. All of Pinchester is in an uproar over his friend Mirrin Stentrill's visionary new paintings-monumental portraits of CATS! The Pinchester Museum announces Mirrin's exhibition, and Mayor Pinkwiggin immediately vows to shut it down. After all, cats are not a popular topic in a city


Our favorite mouse and watchmaker, Hermux Tantamoq, is up to his ears in trouble again. All of Pinchester is in an uproar over his friend Mirrin Stentrill's visionary new paintings-monumental portraits of CATS! The Pinchester Museum announces Mirrin's exhibition, and Mayor Pinkwiggin immediately vows to shut it down. After all, cats are not a popular topic in a city of rodents-and everyone knows they never really existed. While militant mice organize to stop the show, most of Pinchester's stylish set vies for invitations to the gala opening.

Then a mysterious old chipmunk appears in Hermux's shop with what he claims to be a map to the royal library of a prehistoric kingdom of cats. Before long Hermux is hot on a trail of treachery and deceit that leads all the way from Pinchester to an ancient tomb that lies buried in . . . The Sands of Time!

"A gripping story full of emotion and original humor. . . . Should firmly establish Hoeye as a break-out writer, one whose work can be favorably compared with J. K. Rowling and Brian Jacques." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fresh from his first adventure (Time Stops for No Mouse), Hermux Tantamoq, watchmaker, amateur sleuth and intrepid mouse about town, finds himself drawn into another intrigue when his artist friend Mirrin Stentrill's exhibit of cat paintings incites a riot. Long presumed to be mythical creatures by the urbane small rodent population of Pinchester, cats are a taboo subject. No one knows that better than Mirrin's old chipmunk flame, Birch Tentintrotter, who was run out of town decades ago when he deciphered an ancient map to the kingdom of cats. He reappears unexpectedly with another old scroll, and mouse history may never be the same. "We're going to discover once and for all if cats actually existed or this has just been a horrible hoax," Mirrin determines. Soon they are off, with the odious playboy scholar (and revisionist historian) Hinkum Stepfitchler III and his fianc e, hilariously self-serving cosmetics millionaire Tucka Mertslin, on their collective tails. Birch, Hermux and the mouse of his dreams the lovely aviatrix Linka Perflinger race to find the ancient tomb of Ka-Narsh-Pah, and its cat-and-mouse secrets. Hoeye's galloping plot, evocative descriptions ("The papyrus was the bleached yellow of September hay") and exuberantly sophisticated wit ("Tucka was happy. She loved rich people. They were so much fun. They were so full of life. And they had so much money!") keep the pages rapidly turning. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Fresh from his first adventure, Hermux Tantamoq, watchmaker mouse and amateur sleuth, finds himself drawn into another intrigue when his artist friend's exhibit of cat paintings incites a riot. "The galloping plot, evocative descriptions and exuberantly sophisticated wit keep the pages turning rapidly," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Mouse watchmaker Hermux Tantamoq returns in this sequel to Time Stops for No Mouse (Putnam, 2002). He teams up with a chipmunk to investigate an ancient Cat Kingdom, and the friends uncover evidence suggesting that felines once kept mice as slaves. Their work pits them against a highly regarded scholar with evil designs, a greedy but beautiful cosmetics tycoon, and a "mouse supremacist group." With hidden tombs, dynamite traps, and last-second escapes, the plot moves quickly. The melodramatic moments are nicely tempered by a lighthearted tone and subtle wit, and the "racism" of mice and the notion that the past should be studied even if it's unpleasant are thought provoking. The mouse-ruled world is easy and fun to slip into, with charming details about food, pets, and fashion, and other assorted topics revealed with dry humor. The tentative romance between Hermux and Linka, the daring mouse aviatrix, progresses significantly by the time this tale concludes. The watchmaker is an endearing hero. His modest, unassuming manner doesn't quite hide his courage and cleverness, recalling Bernard of Margery Sharp's The Rescuers (Little, Brown, 1959; o.p.) and E. B. White's protagonist from Stuart Little (HarperCollins, 1945). Supporting characters are distinct and amusing, particularly Tucka Mertslin, the cosmetics queen. The 80 short chapters move briskly and have a satisfying conclusion that clearly paves the way for future adventures.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

The second installment in the ongoing escapades of mouse detective Hermux Tantamoq finds the diminutive watchmaker off on a quest to discover an ancient tomb, where the secret to mouse history (including whether or not cats ever really existed) lies buried. Hoeye's tale boasts the kind of minutely detailed world into which kids (and adults) can't wait to immerse themselves.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Hermux Tantamoq Adventure Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Sands of Time

A New Hermux Tantamoq Adventure

By Michael Hoeye


Copyright © 2002

Michael Hoeye
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-14-250176-X

Chapter One

Do Drop In

* * *

"What a beautiful morning for watchmaking!" thought Hermux
Tantamoq as he unlocked the door to his shop. There was something
delicious in the air. He wrinkled his nose and sniffed. His
whiskers twitched. He took a deep breath.

"Ripe apples," he said. "Now that's a nice smell!"

He sniffed again. Hermux was a mouse who appreciated a
good meal. A nice, plump red apple might be just the thing for
lunch. With a thick slice of cheddar cheese. And a crusty piece
of bread. What a pleasant thought! He raised the shade and
switched on the lights. He put a sign out on the front counter
that said, I'm back in the workshop. Please ring the bell!

He took off his emerald green woolly coat with the bumblebee
buttons and hung it on a hook. Then he rolled up his sleeves
and went to work.

Hermux got Clenton Yooger's big pocket watch down from
the work shelf. All it needed was a good cleaning. He fitted his
magnifying loupe to his right eye and opened the heavy gold
case. First he removed the winding stem. Then he inserted a
tiny pair of tweezers to release the main spring, which, as everyone
knows, is the very most ticklish part of watchmaking. That's
when someone slapped him on the back.

"Tantamoq!" a shrill voice boomed in his ear.

Clenton Yooger's main spring sprang from his watch, skittered
across the workbench, ricocheted off the tool rack, and
disappeared onto the floor.

"Say! You're not Tantamoq!"

"I am too!" said Hermux.

"Tantamoq is older. He's my age!"

Hermux rubbed his eyes and studied his surprise visitor. It
was an old chipmunk. He was bit taller than Hermux, as you
might expect, but so skinny that he couldn't have weighed much
more than a mouse. He was wearing a faded, rusty-colored corduroy
jacket with patches on the elbows. And the shoulders.
And the lapels. And the cuffs. Some of the patches even had

Hermux thought chipmunks were a clownish lot in general.
But this one looked particularly odd to him. There was even
something sort of lopsided about his head. Hermux smiled to
himself. Then he noticed that the old chipmunk was missing an
ear. It was completely gone. Like someone had snipped it off
with a pair of scissors. Hermux winced. "Owl" he thought.
"That must have hurt!"

"I am Tantamoq!" Hermux told the old chipmunk. "Hermux
Tantamoq." He extended his paw. "You must be looking for
my father, Linnix. This was his shop. I took it over when he retired."

"Of course," said the old chipmunk. "Your father. He's the
one I want to see! Where can I find him? I want to see him right

"I'm sorry, but that's not possible." Hermux stopped. "My
father passed away several years ago."

"Linnix!" sighed the old chipmunk. "I didn't know. I'm so
sorry." Suddenly he seemed confused and uncertain.

"Well, maybe I can help you," said Hermux.

"I doubt it!" said the old chipmunk, shaking his head violently.
"I must be cursed! I need a watchmaker with a solid grasp
of history. Not a beginner."

"I'm not a beginner, and I'm very interested in history," argued
Hermux. "Just this summer I did a walking history tour of
South Glemmon. I visited the very factory where the first twisty
watchband was invented. Ask me anything about watches."

"I need somebody who understands mechanics. Who knows
how to put pieces together and figure things out. Someone who's
not afraid of complications."

"Well, that's me in a nutshell!" said Hermux. "I am certified
to repair cuckoo clocks of all sorts. Even the great antiques from
Grebbenland. And they are really complicated, I can tell you
that for sure!"

"This involves more than clocks and watches, my boy! I
need somebody with heart."

Hermux recalled the image of a bold young mouse standing
before her gleaming silver airplane. It was Linka Perflinger, the
renowned adventuress and aviatrix that he had met in the spring
of that year. Hermux had nearly lost his life rescuing Ms. Perflinger
from the clutches of a sinister plastic surgeon, Dr. Hiril
Mennus. In the process he had lost his heart to the dashing Linka.
But in the end she had chosen someone else.

"I have heart," he said ruefully.

"The point is that I need somebody just like your father."

"I'm a lot like my father," said Hermux. He glanced up at the
photograph over his workbench. It was a smiling picture of Linnix
Tantamoq at the National Convention of Watchmakers. He
had just been named Watchmaker of the Year. Hermux drew
himself up. "Like my father," he said proudly, "I'm not afraid of
complicated problems. And I can solve them under pressure.
Perhaps you heard about my involvement in the Perflinger

"No. Why would I?"

"Why, it was in all the papers! Earlier this year. My picture
was printed several times. Along with Ms. Perflinger and Tucka
Mertslin and Ortolina Perriflot! You can't say you didn't hear
something about it. Hiril Mennus? The Beauty Doc Murders?
Where have you been?"

"I've been working! In the field! I don't have time to waste
reading newspapers! And I couldn't get them if I did!"

"What do you do?" asked Hermux.

The old chipmunk jerked back suddenly and narrowed his
eyes. His one ear cocked and alert.

"Why do you want to know?" he asked suspiciously.

"Well, it sounds like you've got a problem. An interesting
one. And I'd like to hear about it. What can I do to help you?"

"You can start by helping me get this off," the old chipmunk
grumbled. He pointed to the tattered knapsack on his back.

"Boy, this is heavy," said Hermux, wrestling it onto the
workbench. "What's in it?" He started to unbuckle it.

"Hey!" snapped the old chipmunk. "Keep your hands off!
I'll do that!" He pushed Hermux away.

Hermux watched his irritable visitor rummage about in his knapsack.
Time had certainly not been kind to the old guy. He
looked run-down and run over. From his patched jacket to his
threadbare pants and his dusty, scuffed boots. His fur was thin
and lifeless. His paws were nicked and scarred. And then there
was the missing ear. How had that happened? He certainly
didn't look like any friend of his father's that Hermux had ever
met. And Hermux couldn't quite picture his father being good
friends with a chipmunk to begin with.

The old chipmunk interrupted his thoughts.

"If you'll have some patience for an old man's cautious nature,"
he said, "I've got something very interesting to show you.
It's a very puzzling object that I acquired recently. It raises
several questions about history. Questions that would have interested
an intelligent, imaginative watchmaker like your father.
Maybe they will interest you."

A noisy clanging in the front of the shop interrupted him.

Chapter Two


* * *

Someone was pounding the bell on the counter.

"Looks like you made the list, Hermux!"

It was Lista Blenwipple with the morning mail.

"And not everybody did. I can tell you that for a fact!" she
continued with great satisfaction. She appeared in the door of
the workshop. "Oh, here you are!" she said cheerily. She handed
Hermux a handful of mail.

The new issue of Watchmaker's Monthly was right on top of
the fall catalog from Orsik & Arrbale, the department store. On
its cover an athletic young field mouse was shown leaping in
midair from a towering stack of hay. He was wearing a very
catchy outfit - pumpkin-colored shorts and a thick grass-green
sweater covered with bright yellow exclamation points. There
were bills and notices. And there was a letter from Nip Setchley.
Hermux started to open it.

"Oh, that's not it, silly!" cautioned Lista. "It's not mixed in
with the everyday mail. No, indeed!" She removed a pale gray
envelope from a special inside compartment of her mailbag and
held it up before him like some sort of trophy.

"There's those that were chosen. And those that weren't,"
she went on mysteriously. "I know some people who are in for a
big disappointment-people who ought to know better than irritate
me by putting on fancy airs-people who'll be sorry that
their mail was unavoidably detained in transit."

Finally she handed Hermux the envelope. "It looks like
you'll be going."

"Where?" asked Hermux.

"Don't be ridiculous!" Lista burbled. "To Mirrin's opening at
the museum, of course! What has everybody in Pinchester been
talking about since August? Honestly, Hermux, I wonder sometimes
if you're entirely there...."

Hermux examined the envelope. It was addressed to him in
a beautiful flowing script written in dark blue ink. He opened it
carefully and withdrew the invitation.

Hermux was awfully proud of his elderly friend Mirrin.
After three long and difficult years of blindness, she had regained
her eyesight. That was barely six months ago. She had
returned to her painting studio immediately, and since then she
had created a remarkable series of paintings of the disturbing visions
she had had during her blindness. It had been Hermux
who had restored her sight. And that had come about as a result
of his surprising adventure with Linka Perflinger, Dr. Mennus,
and Hermux's neighbor, the irrepressible and ruthless cosmetics
tycoon Tucka Mertslin. But that is another story.

"Of course, you being Mirrin's good friend, there wasn't
much doubt that you'd get invited," Lista confided. "But you
can never be completely sure. Take Lanayda Prink for example.
She donates her entire collection of coffee mugs to the museum,
including all the mugs from all her trips out West, and does she
get invited? Something tells me she won't. And boy, will she be
steamed! It shows that you can never be too polite to your postal

She winked.

"And now, Hermux, who is your interesting new friend?"
she asked.

Hermux turned to make the introductions. But the old
chipmunk was gone. He had sneaked out of the shop without
making a sound.

"I'm afraid I don't know his name," said Hermux. "A
nervous, odd fellow. He says he knew my father. But he didn't
say how. I never found out what he wanted. I don't even know
where he's from."

Hermux ran the tip of his paw thoughtfully over the workbench
where the old chipmunk had set his knapsack.

"Although from the looks of this sand, I would say that until
recently he's been out West. Probably in the desert."

Chapter Three

Who's in Charge?

* * *

"I don't care how famous she is!" the mayor shouted into the
telephone. "I don't care if she was blind! I don't care if she was
first mouse on earth! I will not have obscene art at the Pinchester
Museum. It won't happen! And that's that! I'll take the place
apart brick by brick and sell it for scrap. Tell that to the board
of directors!" He slammed the receiver down with a bang.

Hooster Pinkwiggin was not a wood rat to be trifled with.
He had a vicious temper, especially during election years, and a
tendency to snap first and ask questions later. Several of his assistants
had the scars to prove it. One by one they scooted back
as he glared at them in a fury.

"Paintings of cats!" he screamed. Unable to reach a single
assistant, he grabbed a pencil off his desk and bit it in two with
a sharp snap. That seemed to calm him for a moment. But not a
long one.

"Is the woman completely mad? Does she want to frighten
everyone to death with her nonsense? Is she some sort of sick
publicity hound? Pinchester is a civilized city! We don't speak
about cats in public. We don't read about them in books. We're
certainly not going to show paintings of them in the museum!"

"Mmmmh ... Mayor Pinkwiggin?" interrupted an earnest-looking
squirrel with an unusually bushy tail.


"There seems to be one more problem with Miss Stentrill's
portraits of cats."

"Now what?"

"Apparently they're nude-"

"Nude?" exploded the mayor. "Nude?! How can cats be
nude when no one has ever seen one to begin with? How can
they be nude when they never even existed! What kind of wacko
nut is this Stentrill woman?"

His lips curled up in an ugly snarl. The assistants took bigger
steps farther back. The Mayor grabbed the telephone cord
with his front teeth. The powerful muscles in his jaws flexed.
Then he remembered the nasty shock he'd gotten the last time
he'd bitten through a lamp cord.

"I won't stand for it!" he screamed. The telephone went

"I will not be made a fool of!" he bellowed.

"They'll be sorry they tangled with me!" he roared.

"This is war!" he screeched. He legs went stiff with rage. He
began to turn himself around and around in his swivel chair.
Faster and faster.

"Close the museum immediately!" he thundered as he came
around the first time. His feet sent the desk lamp flying.

"Lock it!" he cried, spinning by. The photos of his wife and
his children and his rowboat fell over with a crash.

"Bar the door!" he snarled. Coffee cups spilled their coffee.

"Chain it!" he blared. Sugar cubes rolled from the sugar
bowl like dice.

"Nail it shut!" he croaked as he slowed to a stop. "Arrest
everybody inside!" A tower of carefully typed reports leaned
and swayed back and forth, back and forth.

"Mayor Pinkwiggin, I'm afraid that's going to be more difficult
than you think," explained the squirrel, who eyed the
teetering stack of reports hopefully. He had been up half the
night working on those reports, and getting the pages in the right
order had been harder than you'd think.

"You're new here, aren't you?" asked the mayor, sitting up
in his chair to get a better look at the squirrel.

"Yes, sir! I am!" said the squirrel.

"And your name?"

"Birbir, your honor," he said proudly. "Birbir Nifftin."

"Well, Birbir," said the mayor, leaning forward over his
desk. "Why don't you explain to me exactly what the big difficulty

"Well, sir," Birbir began. The other assistants took shelter
behind whatever furniture they could find. Birbir himself was
trying to back toward the door but discovered that the long fur
on his tail was somehow twisted up in the mayor's chair. "The
problem is the museum. You see, the city doesn't own the Pinchester
Museum. The museum owns it. It's actually private
property. We can't tell them what to do."

And that was really too much for the mayor, especially during
an election year. He launched himself at Birbir with his teeth
flashing and nipped him right on the arm.

"Ouch!" squeaked Birbir. "That hurt!"

Birbir's tail whipped spastically, and the mayor's chair un-spun
like a wild top. It threw the mayor against his desk, scooted
across the floor, knocked over the water cooler, and bounced
out the window. It landed with a loud crash on the mayor's new
car three floors below.

"We'll see who owns the Pinchester Museum!" panted the

Excerpted from The Sands of Time
by Michael Hoeye
Copyright © 2002
by Michael Hoeye.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Michael Hoeye first came to Oregon in 1970 to homestead a piece of property in the Coastal Range. After 5 years, he moved to New York where he found city life to be even harder than homesteading. In 1991, he returned to Oregon to marry his sweetheart, Martha Banyas. The Sands of Time is his second Hermux Tantamoq Adventure.

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Sands of Time 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Sands of Time is a great book. I love all the description. For example, the dancing mouse ''dancing'' for the king. I also love how mysterious the book is. Like when Hermux saw the scorpion. Anyway, I love that book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
IT WAS ABOUT A MOUSE!!! For goshes sake, I mean the adventures of what ever his name was on his quest to save the world from the other evil mouses, my gosh it was so interesting, I mean I almost died of excitment... but I'm sure you animal lovers out there would like this, I mean when he starting piloting the airplane, i just could imagine this mouses cuteness.... THIS BOOK WAS HORRIBLE!!!! THE WORST BOOK I'VE EVER READ IN MY LIFE!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Sands of Time is an adventure book about Hermux, Linka, and Birch searching for the lost Kingdom of Cats. It is an awesome book with a mystery to solve.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was a great book. i have not read the first book but after this- I must!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved reading Time Stops for No Mouse and the Sands of Time was no dissappointment! Hermux, Linka, Mirrin, and the others were brought to life in my mind. I quickly became friends with Hermux, one of the noblest, reliable, trustworthy, mice you'll ever meet! I highly suggest anyone (ALL AGES) to read this! You'll be immediatley captivated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is sooo good all my friends read it to, its exciding and adventurus
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! I thought that Time Stops For No Mouse was good, but was I wrong! This book is the best! Just as exciting as the first, and just as CUTE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! I loved all of the adventure and fun. I could not stop reading it at all. At first I thought that nothing could top the first book but then I read this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first found 'Time Stops For No Mouse' at my local library. It looked interesting so I read it. It was great! It's one of my favorite books now and when I found 'The Sands Of Time' I was thrilled. Another 'Hermux Tantamoq adventure'! I read it right away. It was abosolutely fantastic. It was so much fun to read and at times very funny. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes reading adventure stories. You'll have a great time reading this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Sands of Time ISBN 0399238794 Michael Hoeye Publisher Penguin USA Hermux Tantamoq, a clean, loving young male mouse, is about to set out on a dangerous, fun-filled journey. He will meet old friends, learn the truth about an ancient mystery, and better yet, save lives. With Hermux¿s friend Mirrin, a painter, Birch, her long lost husband, and their daring friend Linka, they go through the most exciting adventure filled with love, friendship and some scary moments. Along with Hermux we learn the legend of cats. The Sands of Time is a wonderful tale for learning how to make friends and how never to forget the old. Not only was I flipping the pages like crazy, but I also felt like I was part of the story. I felt like I really knew these mice. Michael Hoeye writes with so much detail you can actually see what is happening. The Sands of Time is a fiction novel that is funny and adventurous. I would definitely recommend this book to all ages. Who ever likes adventure is sure in for a wonderful surprise!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harper Rose © 2000, $ 5.95 P.P 197 ISBN 0-06-027900-1 The Wish By Gail Carson Levine Wilma Shultz, a very unpopular eighth-grade girl, is always being ignored and teased. She always wishes to become the most popular girl in eighth grade. One day she meets a witch on the subway on her way home from school. The witch grants her a wish. Her wish is to become the most popular girl in the eighth grade. Her wish comes true the next day, and everyone likes her. She receives love poems and even invitations to Graduate Dance Night. Toward the end of the year Wilma is worrying that her wish is going to end and that she will become again the least popular girl. This is exactly what happens; however, she still holds on to her same friends, except Nina, who accuses her of lying. I would recommend The Wish to girls between the ages of ten and fourteen, because they will probably have a lot in common with Wilma, such as dealing with friendship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hermux is a watchmaker in his dads old shop, when an old chipmunk comes he says he needs his father. My Father is dead Hermux said. Oh.said the chipmunk,I needed his help. Hermux says he can help and thats the begining. Tucka, a very famous mpouse tries to make her own meuseum so she needs the king of cats mummy she doesn't know it could bring them back to life! But thats what Birch Hermux and Linka are trying to do but on their way Hermux thinks about bringing cats back to life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last year, our 7th and 8th grade english/reading teacher began to read to us from a book entitled 'Time Stops for No Mouse.' When we heard the title of the book, we all had out doubts. We soon realized that we wanted our teacher to read more and more each day and that our assuptions were wrong. He wasn't able to finish reading the whole book to us, but he encouraged us to go out on our own and read for ourselves. I was hooked on this book for hours and hours and I just couldn't put it down. So, naturally, when I heard there was another book continuing the series, I raced to our neighborhood library to get it. This book is just as wonderful as the first-a must-read for adults, teens and children alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was great! I didn't know about it at first because I don't normally like stories about animals but this book held my attention and I couldn't put it down till the end!
Guest More than 1 year ago
These mice and chipmunks and other critters are sooooo cool. But so rude to each other. Making a chart of what another critter is.