There are many strange disappearances on Offley Street, from Imogen Splotts’ teddy bear to Lady Chumley-Plumley’s diamonds. And one creature has taken notice: Hermelin, a mouse that can read and write. Self-named for the cheese box in which he woke up one day, Hermelin resides in the attic of Number 33 Offley Street. Perhaps inspired by the old mysteries and Victorian garb surrounding him, the mouse sets out to find the lost items he sees on the neighborhood message board.
As he solves case after case, including a dramatic rescue of Baby McMumbo (who crawls out a window and lands in a soft bed of garbage, only seconds from the approaching Munch-u-lator Automatic Garbage Gobbler), Hermelin uses the typewriter in his attic to leave notes about the missing items. In both paneled and full-page illustrations, observant readers will notice amusing clues throughout British author and illustrator Mini Grey’s playful, mixed-media artwork. The mouse’s neighbors are ecstatic to find their belongings recovered, but wonder, “WHO IS Hermelin?”
A party in his honor turns disastrous, however, when the neighbors discover Hermelin is a mouse and Hermelin discovers he is a “pest.” He prepares to leave the next morning until he finds a mouse-sized note from Emily, another young inhabitant in the house. A budding private investigator who has also been following the local disappearances with curiosity, Emily seeks a partner to solve crimes—and of course one with good typing skills. Happily, a clever ending hints at more mysteries awaiting the pair.