I'm a week away from third anniversary of my debut novel's publication. By now, it's started to feel very real--as if Esa and Rachel are old and dear companions, along with the crew of friends and strangers who are drawn to them individually, as well as to the partnership they've formed. It's nice to know I can settle back into their lives, as if no time has been lost between meetings. But it's also nice to know that there are still storytelling possibilities that take me in new and unexpected directions. Working on the fifth book in the series, I'm thinking constantly of the first--which is not The Unquiet Dead, but a simpler story I told of the murder investigation where Esa and Rachel first work to solve a case together. Well, simpler in some ways but not in others. I've begun to think of that first book--Summer's Lease--and this fifth one as a pair of companion novels. Everything about them feels similar...the season, the atmosphere, the idea that something small and dark can lurk within our hearts unknown to us, until the darkness takes the shape of action and regret. I've been trying to name the themes of this fifth book to myself, and I think this might be it: how we make peace with the choices that we've made.