Book Feature – Queen Bee by Dorthea Benton Frank



About Queen Bee

• Paperback: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow;  (April 28, 2019)
• ISBN-10: 0062861239
• ISBN-13: 978-0062861238

Beekeeper Holly McNee Jensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivans Island, tending her hives and working at the local island library. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she’s a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware that she’s quite ill but that doesn’t stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.

Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what’s happening in their neighbor’s home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they’ll give her a solution to all the chaos. Maybe they will.

Queen Bee is a classic Lowcountry Tale—warm, wise and hilarious, it roars with humanity and a dropperful of whodunit added for good measure by an unseen hand. In her twentieth novel, Dorothea Benton Frank brings us back to her beloved island with an unforgettable story where the Lowcountry magic of the natural world collides with the beat of the human heart.




“Bestseller Frank (By Invitation Only) shows off her formidable storytelling chops and her gift for creating memorable characters…Full of Low Country flavor and brilliantly imagined characters, this laugh-out-loud-hilarious novel with a wistful edge will satisfy anyone who wants to see flawed people getting second chances.” – Publishers Weekly

“Franks’ fanciful and frothy slice of Lowcountry life is a feel-good, read-in-one-sitting escape. Benton has been delighting readers with tales of her native Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, for 20 years, and her newest will rally fans and all seeking diverting women’s fiction.” – Booklist

“This warmhearted tale will make you laugh and encourage you to hug your own loved ones a little closer.” –Southern Living

“Queen Bee is a warm, wise and hilarious tale with a pinch of whodunit.” –New Jersey Monthly Magazine

“There must be something in the sea air and coastal breezes that infuses the language of Lowcountry authors such as Frank with full, lush, evocative word paintings.” –Bowling Green Daily News

“This is an author who never fails to entertain.” –New York Journal of Books

“Dottie Frank’s books are sexy and hilarious. She has staked out the lowcountry of South Carolina as her personal literary property.” –Pat Conroy, author of South of Broad

“Something about her novels just seems to say summer.” –USA Today


Purchase Links

William Morrow | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Dorthea Benton Frank

From Dorthea’s Blog page:

Dorothea Benton Frank, author of 20 bestselling novels set in the Low Country of South Carolina, died Monday, September 2, 2019 following a brief struggle with leukemia. She was 67 years old and is survived by her husband Peter Richard Frank, daughter Victoria Frank Peluso (husband Carmine Peluso), grandson Theodore Anthony Peluso, and son William Richard Frank (wife Madeline Clark Frank).

Born and raised on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, Dottie attended school in Charleston before heading to Atlanta, GA to study at The Fashion Institute of America, where she graduated in 1972. After graduation she worked in the apparel industry for more than a decade, moving to San Francisco and eventually New York City. She married her husband Peter in 1983, and moved with him to Montclair, New Jersey in 1988, just after the birth of their son.

She wrote her first book, Sullivan’s Island: A Low Country Tale, shortly after the death of her mother in 2000, determined to buy back her childhood family home – the last physical connection she had to her beloved hometown – with the money she earned. The book went on to debut on the New York Times bestseller list at number nine and now has well over one million copies in print. Thus started a bestselling franchise that was often celebrated for its tart humor, honesty and strong-willed female characters that struggled with the real slings and arrows of everyday life: love and heartbreak, fortune and ruin, bliss and disappointment, and the folly of youth and the wisdom of experience.

While her children were young Dottie became a volunteer fundraiser, organizing events for various non-profit organizations around the Metropolitan New York area. Past board service includes The Montclair Art Museum, Whole Theater Company, The Drumthwacket Foundation, The NJ State Council on the Arts and The NJ Cultural Trust. She has also served on the Board of Trustees of the SC Coastal Conservation League and the Parent’s Council of the College of Charleston, Bloomfield College (Bloomfield NJ), The Montclair Film Festival (NJ) and The SC Historical Society.

She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of Charleston, a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bloomfield College and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Charleston School of Law. In 2015, she was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of authors and has been honored many times for her work raising awareness about domestic violence and for her community service. Dottie was an avid cook, and enjoyed fly fishing the one time she tried it, reading, traveling, and mentoring young writers on the creative process. She divided her time between her home on Sullivans Island and New Jersey

“For fifteen years I was lucky enough to have an association with a woman full of stories, energy, imagination and most of all wit. Dottie was fearless and vibrant and I will miss her as much as her readers will,” said Carrie Feron, Dottie’s longtime editor at William Morrow.

Visit her updated website at

Connect with Dorthea’s family and following on Instgram, Twitter, and Facebook.






Happy Reading and Be Nice!



Published by ReadingGirlReviews

Serious book loving critical care RN dealing with RA, being married to a surgeon, my 2 crazy dogs, an obsession with crafting, and a mad desire to swing golf clubs (although quite poorly).

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