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"The Queen Bee" by Edna Lee
Beware of plot spoilers.

Here is America's answer to "Rebecca", a story about hate, about a woman obsessed with her own pleasures. Like Rebecca, she is beautiful and charming and the master manipulator/schemer who destroys all those she comes in contact with, especially those who should be dearest to her. Like "Rebecca" we also have a relatively weak hero, a hero who aims to be a "gentleman" and ends up being a coward/fool/drunk. Our heroine is more defined, but she is unable to defeat the villain. It takes the hero to destroy the villain, but in doing so, we have a very unhappy ending. If you do not particularly enjoy reading unhappy endings, this book would not be for you. However, had the author given it a happy ending, it would not have been very effective; in fact, I would have found it to be very saccharine.

Thank you for this review. Sounds like my cup of tea!

I don't mind gloom, and a story without a happy ending, now and then.
The film adapatation, while not exactly like the book, is quite exceptional. It stars the "Queen Bee" herself, Joan Crawford and she just oozes evil like no one else could.


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