Are You Ready to Rumble with Dorothea Benton Frank’s ‘Queen Bee’? [REVIEW]

Do you know a Queen Bee? (Photo courtesy Pexels)

Do honeybees know the secret to happiness? They just might if their dutiful beekeeper can stop chatting long enough to listen. But when a girl has a Lowcountry family that drives her crazy, she’s got to have someone to talk to! Find out what antics the folks on Sullivans Island are up to now in Dorothea Benton Frank’s delicious new novel, Queen Bee.

Dorothea Benton Frank's QUEEN BEE

William Morrow

Holly McNee Jensen is the aforementioned mistress of the bees. When she’s not tending to their hive, she’s either working at the local island library or looking after her meddlesome hypochondriac mama, a large woman (in every form of the word) Holly calls Queen Bee. To maintain some semblance of sanity, Holly focuses on the widower next door, Archie, and his two young sons.

Just when Holly seems to have carved out her own little corner of the world, her sister Leslie returns to the island. Flamboyant and outspoken, island life never suited Leslie, which is why she got married and moved away years ago. Now that her relationship has imploded, she’s back, and Leslie is turning Holly’s life on its ear, bringing even more drama to her sister’s quiet existence.

Paying no heed to wagging tongues, Leslie is restless and looking for validation from any and all takers. Meanwhile, Queen Bee ups her game and threatens to drive everyone mad with her over-the-top theatrics. And to make matters worse, Archie is seeing someone and now both sisters want to know if he is actually going to marry the cold-hearted woman. If so, what will happen to his children?

With Queen Bee, Dorothea Benton Frank proves once again why she is the reigning queen of the summer beach read. As she’s done with her previous novels, she has delivered yet another tale populated by charismatic, authentic, sometimes challenging and frequently hilarious characters who are as outrageous as they are endearing. Frank deftly captures the sugary sweet facades Southern women erect so well, and uses that charm and tongue-in-cheek outlook on life to examine difficult family relationships that can make the best belle want to snatch her mama bald headed.

By the time readers turn the last page, they’ll be surprised to discover that they aren’t actually sitting on the back porch swing sipping sweet tea and gossiping with (or more likely about) their neighbors on Sullivans Island. Frank does such an effective job making her characters all come alive that they feel like folks we know and love (or love to hate, “bless their little hearts”), and we are almost left with a bittersweet sense of loss. Although I somehow get the feeling if we were actually to visit the isle in question, we could likely pick out the people who inspired such vivid creations. But that’s just supposition on my part!

If you’re looking for a book that makes navigating a few prickly stings to get to the sweet honey at the heart of the comb worthwhile, you’re going to love this journey back to Sullivans Island to meet the persnickety Queen Bee herself. Enjoy!

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Dorothea Benton Frank

Dorothea Benton Frank
(Photo by Debbie Zammit)


Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of By Invitation Only, Same Beach, Next YearAll Summer LongThe Last Original WifePorch Lights, and Folly Beach. Her first novel, Sullivans Island, was published in 2000 and debuted at number nine on the New York Times bestseller list.

Prior to becoming a bestselling author, she had a career in the retail apparel industry and worked for companies like Fire Islander Sportswear, Heralcorp Industries and Michael Lerner in New York City; Byer California in San Francisco; Kerrison’s Department Store in Charleston, S.C., and College Town Sportswear in Atlanta, Ga.

She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bloomfield College. In 1972, she graduated from the Fashion Institute of America in Atlanta, Ga. and from General William Moultrie High School in 1969.

When she isn’t working, Frank can be found cooking, fly fishing, reading and traveling. Born and raised on Sullivans Island, S.C., she currently makes her home in the New York area with her husband. Visit her home on the Web, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Dorothea Benton Frank
432 pp. William Morrow. $27.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Queen Bee at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, HarperCollins, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

Queen Bee is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Are You Ready to Rumble with Dorothea Benton Frank’s ‘Queen Bee’? [REVIEW]

  1. Sara Strand says:

    I really enjoyed this book, too! I devour anything by DBF, she’s my go-to summer read author! Thanks for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Dorothea Benton Frank, author of Queen Bee, on tour May/June 2019 | TLC Book Tours

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