Skip to product information
1 of 1

Tilly Wallace

Backstitched and Stabbed

Backstitched and Stabbed

Regular price $4.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $4.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

The only thing worse than wet woollen togs, is a knife in the back…

As the kiwi summer draws to a close, a family outing to the beach takes a deadly turn when a lifeless body washes up on shore. Grace is devastated to recognise the victim, Ricky, who worked in her friend’s bakery. But when the supposed drowning victim is rolled over, a shocking truth is revealed—he was murdered.

Drawn into finding the murderer of the cheerful baker, Grace picks at the tangled web of secrets that surrounded Ricky. The man lived a double, or even triple, life. But which version of him had provoked the fatal encounter? Grace and her friends must find the person responsible, before another life is lost to the same tide of violence that claimed Ricky.

This is the second instalment in the Grace Designs mystery series, about a seamstress turned sleuth in Wellington, New Zealand at the dawn of the 1920s.

Please note: The book will be delivered via BookFunnel, to the address you used at checkout.

How do I read my ebook?

  • Purchase the ebook instantly
  • Receive download link via email
  • Send to your preferred e-reader, or read in the BookFunnel app, and enjoy!

Read sample

Saturday, 28 February 1920.

“If you don’t hold still, we will miss the ferry.” I swear that the ability of a small child to hold still, is inversely related to how much time you have.
Theo, my son, had inherited his father’s pale skin and as a consequence, burned easily. As he squirmed to rush for the motorcar waiting to take us to the wharf, I was trying to ensure his hat was tightly wedged on his head and the string tied securely under his chin. In the end, I won. But only because Dad blocked the door and pointed to the hat on his head. If Grandpa wore one to the beach, apparently it was acceptable.
Outside in the narrow lane, Joseph sat at the wheel of a large travelling vehicle. For a moment, I wondered how he had manoeuvred it there, but it spoke to his skill that he most likely reversed up around the corner to get it into place. The vehicle was kindly loaned to us for the short trip by my mentor, Mrs Cooper, on the condition that Joseph helps her driver wash it afterwards. My cousin had moments of lingering guilt after recent events, even though I reassured him there was no bad blood between us. He had an intense loyalty to his job as a police officer and Detective Archer, but I had smudged the edges.
They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and today was a top one. The gusty winds had dropped, the sky didn’t have a cloud for miles, and despite the early hour, the warmth promised that the last day of summer would be a scorcher. Determined to take advantage of the predicted glorious weekend, we decided yesterday to head to Days Bay for a picnic. Situated across the harbour, the beach was a popular spot for Wellingtonians wanting to relax, go for a swim, or build a sandcastle.
Sam and her mother joined us and we had an assortment of baskets containing our swimsuits, towels, books, toys to entertain Theo, and most importantly…our lunch. As a point of honour, the Kostas women brought enough food with them to feed a family of twenty, not the five of us. The only things we lacked were chairs and an umbrella, but we would hire those when we reached our destination.
Dad gripped the handle of his cane, and I slipped my arm through his as Theo raced to leap into the open-top motorcar.
“Foot giving you some pain?” I asked as we stepped outside.
He locked the door and gave me a lopsided grin. “Damn toes are itchy. I’m looking forward to a paddle in the ocean. That’ll satisfy them.”
Dad suffered with pains in the missing limb, which seemed unfair to me. How could an appendage that was no longer attached feel anything? Yet I had heard of returned soldiers who experienced the same phenomenon. For Dad, the only thing that relieved the symptoms was immersing the phantom foot in the salty water. At times, I wondered if my father was part sea creature, such was his love of the ocean and his need to be near it.
A short ride later, Joseph dropped us close to the wharf. Sadly, it seemed most of Wellington had the same idea as us, and we were all crammed onto the wharf to catch the steamer across the water. I kept a tight grip on Theo’s hand, not wanting to lose him in the crowd. The four adults formed a tight cluster with Theo in the middle, which meant his view of events was restricted to waistbands and bottoms.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long before the crowd surged forward to pile onto the Duchess. The steamer could hold over 1,000 passengers, and I was convinced there were at least that many, if not more, all seeking to enjoy the last days of summer. Dad and I insisted on sitting up on deck, which made Sam grumble.
“It’s all right for you Sullivans with salt in your veins. Some of us were born to stay on land,” she muttered as she sat with her back to the water.
“You’re half-Greek, and your dad grew up in a fishing village.” I nudged her.
“I inherited mum’s land-loving traits.” Sam was smartly dressed in pale linen trousers, a white short-sleeved shirt, and a straw boater. She would have looked at home lounging on an expensive yacht sailing the Mediterranean Sea.
“Would you rather be wedged in the cabin with sweaty land lubbers who vomit at the slightest wave?” We Sullivans were exhilarated by rough waves. The action of the ocean made us come alive.
Sam grimaced at the idea of the smelly interior below. “Perhaps not.”
Theo clung to the rail to watch the water race past the hull and laughed when spray dotted across his face. I closed my eyes, enjoying the gentle up and down motion of the steamer that made others rush to the rail for quite a different reason than enjoyment.
As I basked in the moment, a pressing situation tapped for my attention. In the rush of getting out the door, my motherly instincts made sure Theo had been to the toilet, but I completely forgot about my own needs.
“I need to go to the bathroom,” I whispered to Sam before getting to my feet. There would still be three sets of eyes to keep track of Theo.
The narrow stairs took me below deck and to the tiny bathroom cubicles. The rank odour of sweat permeated the stuffy air. Polite smiles were exchanged among those waiting, but thankfully it wasn’t too long before it was my turn. The oiled wooden door opened and a familiar face stepped out, Ricky Hammond. The young man worked in the Kostas Bakery. He appeared to be suffering from a touch of seasickness, with a sheen to his face and a slight green undertone to his skin.

View full details

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Isa R
Addictive series!

I really love this series. The setting of New Zealand and the time period is really compelling, along with the main character Grace. I have already bought the next book and cannot wait to see what happens next to Grace, her business and her family.

Suzanne Fortier

I really enjoyed that book, in fact as I finished it, I could not wait, turned around and bought the last one

Robbie Puckett
Backstitched and Stabbed

I love Tilly's tales! This book is as great as any other. Characters and their actions come to life through remarkable descriptions. I love how much attention to detail the author instills in developing both. I've read every book but this set on Sera and I'm thankful I found it because I hate having to wait for Tilly to publish another booth!

Pamela Damstra
Backstitched and Stabbed

I really enjoy Grace and the characters in her murderous adventures. Thank you Tilly!

Leslie Silvernail

Always love the mystery and getting immersed in a different time and place. Interested to see how the characters will continue to be developed in upcoming books. Easy to use the BookFunnel app.