On Three Pines
"No," I told Larry, "you have to read the first one first, because the first one is not as good as the second one, and the second one is not as good as the third one, and the third one is not as good as the fourth one, and then –"
I held up The Brutal Telling.
"Then with the fifth one, it's like she gets serious. The first four are all these explorations of tropes, the haunted house mystery, the manor house mystery where there's a storm and everyone's stuck on the island, the one that uses the same device as The Big Four, the one where someone dies at a séance, and then she starts telling real stories about real people and it just –
"I mean –
"I've read the most recent one, not the most recent now because there's a new one, but the most recent one before that, and you can see, in the fifth book, how the characters are starting to change –
"So that they end up where they are now –
"I mean –
"If there's one thing I want to know how to do, it's that. I want to get better with every book, and I want my characters to get better with every book."
Larry, who has been listening this entire time, nods.
"You're already doing that," he says. "So I should start with the first one, then?"