Book Review: Queen Bee by Nina Manning

I am pleased to be welcoming Nina Manning back to Novel Kicks with the blog tour for her novel, Queen Bee. 

In the quiet village of Helesbury, Miranda Wallace prides herself on being the most popular member of her small social circle; the perfect friend, the best mum – the queen bee.

Until one day, Verity arrives. Cool and indifferent, Verity is everything Miranda isn’t, but she threatens to shatter Miranda’s picture-perfect life.

Suddenly plagued with insecurities, Miranda is certain Verity is hiding something. And Miranda knows all about secrets and the damage they can cause, because she’s hiding some of her own.

So when Verity threatens to reveal the truth about Miranda and destroy the perfect life she’s built, Miranda knows she has to act to protect the people she loves – even if the results are deadly.


Miranda is enjoying her new life, away from all the mistakes in her past. What’s more, she feels as though she has a true friend in Evie. Life for Miranda is bordering on perfect. 

However, the arrival of Verity starts to pull Evie away from her. Who is this woman? Why is Evie interested in being her friend? Soon, Miranda finds life getting out of control, like it was before.

I had previously read The Bridesmaid by Nina Manning and loved it. I was excited to read her latest novel, Queen Bee. 

Immediately, you are drawn into the action of the plot. Something has happened, something that has yet to be revealed. There is already a storm disturbing the calm and quiet life of this small village. This really helps draw you into the story as it goes between police interviews in the present and events leading up to the characters being asked questions. There are also flashbacks from the perspective of an unknown young girl, adding more mystery to the mix.

It’s pretty safe to say that I devoured this novel. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in pretty much one sitting. I needed to know what was happening. 

Nina Manning is so good at building tension and suspense, adding many twists and turns in along the way. 

I found Miranda to be an interesting character and one I could relate to. She is set to repeat past mistakes but at the same time, I think many of us have fallen into the social media trap, even if it’s not good for our mental health. 

Evie is an enigma. I liked her. I just didn’t fully trust her. I was the same with Verity and even Miranda to a degree. The discord between the characters only adds to the overall tension running through the plot. 

I really don’t want to say much else as I’m hoping that this is a novel you’ll add to your reading list, especially if you like psychological thrillers or are looking to try something in this genre.  

Queen Bee is a brilliant, compelling gem of a thriller and one of the best I’ve read. I’m looking forward to seeing what Nina Manning does next. 



About Nina Manning: 

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast.

Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

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Queen Bee was released by Boldwood Books on 26th January 2022. Click here to buy on Amazon UK and Waterstones.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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