FeaturedRomantic Comedy

The Agony Aunt Chronicles: Dear Doctor Love


Loved it! 😍

Ella's discovery of letters in her deceased aunt's office leads to matchmaking adventure and love.

Cadet reporter Ella is leaving the funeral of her beloved Aunt Gina, not so long after burying her dad, when a stranger presses a card into her hand—Meg Russel, Russel Gallery & Exhibits—says she ‘helped Gina with her affairs’. Ella still grieves for her dad, and Aunt Gina’s death hits her hard. Gina has left her house to Ella, and Ella is glad to move away from home.

Filled with loving memories of Aunt Gina, Ella sets to clearing out her aunt’s effects. Jazz joins her with bagels and coffee, and in one of the albums they discover a bunch of clippings from newspapers and magazines, agony aunt letters and responses. Then a set of hand-written letters and typed replies. Aunt Gina had been a secret agony aunt. She was ‘Doctor Love’.

In a letter to Ella left in her office, Gina confessed her secret side job and asked Ella to contact Meg Russel about mounting an exhibition of these letters.

Ella finds some letters that had not been answered ‘due to program shutdown’. Among them is evidence of a young love story facilitated by Doctor Love, yet just at the point when Tom was to notify Maya of a rendezvous point for their elopement, the newspaper shut down. Did these star-crossed lovers ever find each other?

They decide to reinstate the Doctor Love column, track down Tom and Maya and write the story up for the paper. They find Tom and find an ally in son Cal in the hunt for Maya.

But Jazz has gone one too far. She takes too personal an interest in one of their cases, which triggers something in her. She goes off on a search of her own.

The relationship of Ella and Jazz is quite adorable, and the bit where she’s cleaning Gina’s house portrays her loving memories of Aunt Gina beautifully. Each of the trio contribute their own talents and personality to both the Doctor Love column and the search for Tom and Maya. Cal provides a serious side to counterbalance Jazz’ exuberance.

Both love stories are handled with a light touch, which seemed to match the style of the work. I really liked the ending, so simple and joyful and looking to the future.

Reviewed by

Susie Helme is an American ex-pat living in London, after sojourns in Tokyo, Paris and Geneva, with a passion for ancient history and politics, and magic, mythology and religion. After a career in mobile communications journalism, she has retired to write historical novels and proofread/edit novels.

About the author

I'm an Australian author who works for the government and moonlights as a wedding and funeral celebrant. I love writing across different genres (which makes marketing hard, but I can't stop myself!) I have been published previously with Harper Collins Au and also Kindred Ink Press in the US. view profile

Published on April 23, 2023

80000 words

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Reviewed by