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9780451473851If you’re already a fan of the embroidery mystery series, then you’re familiar with Captain Moe, the Depoe Bay diner owner who makes the world’s best cheeseburgers. Marcy and Angus met Captain Moe in The Quick and the Thread, the first book in the series, on a Sunday. Even though the restaurant was closed, Captain Moe took the waifs in and fed them. And thus began a beautiful friendship.

Although Captain Moe has been around since Marcy moved to Tallulah Falls and set up shop at the Seven-Year Stitch, he’d never had much of a starring role until Better Off Thread. I thought it was time readers got to know the man better. He’s so much more than a restauranteur, uncle, and friend.

The spotlight shines on Captain Moe as he volunteers to play the role of Santa Claus at a local hospital for the three days following the Thanksgiving holiday for children who are too sick to go home. The hospital administrator believes it will lift their spirits for Santa to visit them, and she even insists on turning a conference room into a virtual North Pole.

When the woman tasked with playing Santa’s elf has to bow out, Captain Moe goes to Marcy with his proverbial hat in his hand. She agrees to be his elf—especially after he assures her that she’ll be needed for only a couple of appearances and that her volunteering won’t hinder her work at the Seven-Year Stitch. Marcy even proposes to bring Angus, her Irish wolfhound. Captain Moe thinks the children will love the big, cuddly dog and is happy to have both on board.

Although her friends Blake and Todd tease her unmercifully about her being an elf, Marcy dons the sassy costume and enjoys the event more than she could’ve imagined. The next day, she’s looking forward to a repeat of the previous evening when a hospital security guard denies her entrance to the “North Pole” conference room. When Marcy asks to see Captain Moe, she’s informed that he has been taken to the police station for questioning.

Marcy immediately calls her friend who happens to be Captain Moe’s niece—attorney Riley Kendall. Riley doesn’t have time to talk—Captain Moe is suspected of murdering the hospital administrator, and she has to get to the police station to help him. To make matters worse, at least as far as Marcy is concerned, the case is being handled by the Tallulah County Police Department, so her favorite Tallulah Falls officers—Chief Manu Singh and her boyfriend Ted Nash—aren’t allowed to be involved with Captain Moe’s investigation.

Taking it upon herself to prove her friend’s innocence, Marcy learns a lot about Captain Moe’s past and discovers a few surprises along the way. I had such a wonderful time writing this book and exploring Captain Moe’s personality, his past, his relationships, and his enduring friendship with Marcy—who’ll always be Tinkerbell to Captain Moe.