Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Mystery in the Palace of Westminster by Sarah Lustig - Book Tour

Mystery in the Palace of Westminster

Theo Duncan is just an ordinary student. Except he also happens to be the son of the Prime Minister, Will Duncan. 

 When the parliamentary mace is stolen from inside the Houses of Parliament, Theo is determined to help his dad get it back. But he can’t do it alone. And when help is offered, there’s a problem. It comes from the new girl at school, Sammy Jhor, who’s a supporter of the opposition party. 

 Theo and Sammy form an unlikely team to spy on government officials, sneak through the corridors of Downing Street and pursue the thief through the Palace of Westminster. 

 But when the evidence points to suspects at the highest levels of government, finding the thief could threaten Will Duncan’s leadership. 

 Can Theo and Sammy put aside their differences to find the mace – and the thief – before the government is brought to its knees? 


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During a school trip to the Houses of Parliament, Theo is a witness to the theft of the parliamentary mace. In this scene, someone has set off smoke during the Speaker’s Procession. In the ensuing chaos, Theo gets a glimpse of something that might become important later on.


The smoke rose quickly. It billowed upwards, swallowing whole people in a single gulp. Theo couldn’t see his own body below his waist.

The smoke clawed at his throat and eyes. It tasted bitter and metallic. Was it poisonous? He clamped his eyes shut and tried to hold his breath.

There was yelping. Swearing and shouting. He was buffeted by bags and, was that, flailing limbs?

A hand grabbed his wrist in a vice-like grip. Surprised, he let out the breath he was holding.

He thought of the kidnap training his dad had been offered, and refused, for his children. Had someone come for him?

His heart beating fast, he wrenched his arm away as hard as he could. A girl squealed. With a stab of guilt, he wondered who he had just shaken off.

But there was no time to think of that. Someone might be after him.

He backed away one inch at a time, his arms out ready to ward off any would-be attackers. He could hear a scuffle to his left. It sounded like his school when the bell rang for the end of the day – like hundreds of students pushing and scrambling through tiny hallways, all barging each other aside. He imagined a group of burly, armed men among them. Shoving people to the ground. Shouting at them to move.

Only he hadn’t imagined that. Somebody really was shouting.

He knocked into something or someone and dropped his coat. Just leave it, he thought. Not worth it.

Someone shoved him and he toppled over.

Crash. A sharp jab.

All the air in his lungs escaped, like a popped balloon. He coughed on the smoke, choking.

He stayed on the ground, trying and failing to open his streaming eyes. What was happening? He thought of terrorists, but no bomb had gone off. There hadn’t been a blast. But then what was all that smoke?

His bruises started to throb. His heavy backpack had come down hard on his back, jamming his hips into the ground. Above him, the shouts had turned to squeals, like a swarm of birds squawking desperately to one another. He tried to focus on the undamaged parts of his body. The tiles under his fingers were smooth and not altogether cold. They reminded him of the tiles on the terrace at their house in the south of France. They were softer than he would have expected, worn down by time, and warmer.

After a moment, he realised the air wasn’t so thick here and he could breathe more easily.

Tentatively, Theo opened his eyes and looked around. The smoke was thinning. There was a clear gap under it, just enough to see police-regulation boots braced for action.

A prone figure appeared through the smog. It was the man who had been holding the golden club. He was lying sprawled on his stomach, unmoving, his arms splayed out in front of him. He needed help. There was someone wearing a pair of grubby trainers beside him and Theo hoped they had come to help him. But the shoes backed away from him swiftly and disappeared in the fog.

Author Bio –

Sarah Lustig grew up in London and went to school in Westminster, with politicians’ children. Her experiences at school and interest in politics inspired the idea for the Westminster Mysteries series. Mystery in the Palace of Westminster is her debut novel. She has been a book editor for nearly 15 years and now lives in Buckinghamshire, where she spends her time reading, writing and pottering on her balcony garden.

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