Blog Tour Review: Duet by Elise Broach

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A tale about family and friendship that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Elise Broach for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: MG Mystery
Publishing Date: May 10, 2022

A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses

Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, a young goldfinch who loves to sing and dreams of becoming a musical star. She lives with her family in the backyard of a piano teacher, and she is quickly intrigued by Mr. Starek’s newest pupil. Michael Jin is an eleven-year-old keyboard sensation, but lesson after lesson, he refuses to play.  With the prestigious Chopin Festival looming at summer’s end, how will he be ready in time?  Mirabelle is responsible for Michael’s breakthrough—to her own astonishment, she sings the Chopin piece he is beginning to play at the piano. It is their first duet.

Thus begins a secret adventure that will take Mirabelle and Michael further than they ever imagined—in music, in friendship, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that could be worth millions.  A house full of treasures holds the clues. There, Mirabelle, Michael, and their friend Emily will make an important discovery that links the great composer Frederic Chopin, the trailblazing author George Sand, and the French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.

A fast-paced, history-rich mystery will have young readers hooked as they root for boy and bird in this beautifully told novel, full of emotion and suspense.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Elise Broach is the author of more than twenty books for young readers, including board books, picture books, early readers, middle-grade mysteries, and young adult novels. Her picture book, My Pet Wants a Pet, was named Parents Magazine’s Best Picture Book of 2018. Another picture book, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and was Time Magazine’s #1 Children’s Book of the Year. Her middle-grade novel, Masterpiece, was a New York Times bestseller and also won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award. Elise’s books have appeared on more than a dozen state reading lists. She lives in Connecticut and teaches creative writing at Yale University

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

I will admit that I forgot I had to post today and rushed to read this book in less than 24 hours. That being said, I enjoyed it immensely!

Duet is told through first-person narration from the point of view of a female goldfinch named Mirabelle. That’s right, a bird. I thought it was going to be weird reading from this perspective, but it actually worked really well. The plot follows Mirabelle as she befriends a young boy who is taking piano lessons in order to prepare for a Chopin music competition. As the relationship between them grows, the reader is introduced to several fun facts about birds (of all kinds) and music (including musical history). As an adult, I thought these incorporated facts were absolutely lovely. I can imagine that this is one of those books that is enjoyable and educational for parent and child alike. Also present in the narration are also several lessons about the joy, pain, and sacrifice that comes with loving and being loved.

The book was marketed to me as a middle grade mystery, but I’m going to go ahead and say it’s a middle grade contemporary. There were a few mini-mysteries thrown in, but not enough for me to say that it entered the mystery genre itself. Regardless, this is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone interested. The only reason I took away a half star was because there is a point in the story where the characters decide to disobey the law, and it’s portrayed as a good thing. I’m not sure that’s the right message to be sending to a young and impressionable audience and I think it could have been problematized a bit more.

Feel free to check out the tour schedule above to see what others on this tour have to say. Duet comes out tomorrow, so don’t forget to grab your copy!