This was a series I read probably almost a decade ago after borrowing it from the library, and at the time I recall the third book was still being written. It involves some mice spying and doing secret operations within a dictatorial country of mice. I also recall that mice of a certain color (ginger?) were being discriminated against, so it may have also been an allegory.

I also recall that using birds for transport may have been a plot element, and there was a Hamlet reference involving skiing while holding a tree in front of you.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I believe one of the main characters was named Alistar. I'm not 100% sure on that though. Any leads, or help finding it, would be much appreciated; it's been nagging at the back of my brain that I don't know what it was called. I'll do my best to answer any questions.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you recall what the cover art looked like? And was the name "Alistar" or "Alistair?"
    – DavidW
    Feb 12, 2023 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


This is The Secret of the Ginger Mice by Frances Watt.

Can four intrepid mice save an entire country?

One summer morning in the small town of Smiggins, Alice and Alex awake to find their triplet brother Alistair has mysteriously vanished! After learning a family secret, Alice and Alex immediately set off to find Alistair with only a mysterious letter to guide them. Alistair, however, must make sense of falling from the sky onto Tibby Rose, the only other ginger-colored mouse he has ever met.

With enemy spies hot on their tails, Alice and Alex's adventure quickly turns into a dangerous and desperate race. And for every clue that Alistair and Tibby Rose uncover, another mystery is seemingly revealed. Helping an oppressed country and its people aside, all that these four mice want to do is find each other and their way home.

The first book in Frances Watt's The Song of the Winns trilogy, The Secret of the Ginger Mice is an extraordinary tale of spontaneous acts of courage, infallible friendships, and innocent rebellions.

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