A NEW adventure for the much-loved mice of Beauty Bank will be launched in Davenham on September 7.

Davenham and Sandiway Players will read excerpts from The Parcel, the latest book by Northwich author Michael R Beddard and illustrator Rebecca Yoxall, as part of a free family arts and crafts event.

The story is a sequel to Lost in the Snow, launched at the Players’ theatre last year, with both tales set in and around Beauty Bank, a fictional place based on Davenham and other mid Cheshire villages.

Mike, himself a member of Davenham Players, was inspired by meeting one of his characters in the theatre itself.

“The venue couldn’t be more perfect because I got the inspiration for my first book while I was in this self-same theatre working on the sound and lighting for a play and discovered I was sharing the control room with a surprise visitor: a field mouse.”

The latest story picks up on a regular feature of village life in mid Cheshire as the latest challenge for the mice and their friends is to solve a mystery about a missing package in time to the annual village fete and crowning of the May Queen.

Mike said: “Initially, I didn’t have a series in mind but after Lost in the Snow was published the reaction was so positive, Rebecca and I couldn’t resist.

“The initial print run sold out almost instantly so we ordered another and another.

“Then, we began to get online orders, from places as far away as India, Singapore and the States, and eventually it reached the point where we’d be stopped in the street by people asking when they would be able to buy the next one.

“This one is longer than the first, with some truly gorgeous images, more humour, I think, and more thrills and spills.”

The arts and crafts day, including an exhibition and sales, will be held at Davenham Players Theatre, in Church Street, from 10am to 4pm, with a reading at 1.30pm.

Mike and Rebecca will be there to talk about the story and characters and sign copies of the books.

Mike said: “Last year’s event was a wonderful day for Rebecca, myself and Davenham Players.

“There were some amazingly talented people displaying wonderful things.

“A real homespun arts and crafts in the community event which we have built on this year.

“If the audience laugh while the story is being read and smile when they leave the theatre that will make it all worthwhile.”