The Last Twelve Miles: A Novel (Paperback)

The Last Twelve Miles: A Novel By Erika Robuck Cover Image

The Last Twelve Miles: A Novel (Paperback)


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"Set against the backdrop of the Prohibition Rum Wars, Robuck has brought two real-life figures to the page with heartfelt intimacy and crackling suspense. A fascinating read!" — Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Cuban Heiress

Two real, brilliant women on opposite sides of the law, in a deadly game of cat and mouse…

1926. Washington, D.C.

The Coast Guard is losing the Prohibition Rum War, but they have a new, secret weapon to crack smuggler codes, intercept traffic, and destroy the rum trade one skiff at a time. That secret weapon is a 5'2" mastermind in heels, who also happens to be a wife and mother: Mrs. Elizebeth Smith Friedman, one half of the husband-and-wife pair who invented cryptanalysis. 


Cleo Lythogoe, The Bahama Queen, announces her retirement while regaling the thugs at the bar with tales of murder and mayhem on the high seas. Marie Waite, listening in, knows an opportunity when she hears it, and she wants the crown for herself so badly she can taste it. So begins Marie's plan to rise as rumrunner royalty long enough to get her family in the black. But the more sophisticated her operation grows, the more she appears on the radar of the feds.

Meanwhile, Elizebeth is the only codebreaker battling scores of smugglers. Despite the strain of solving thousands of intercepted messages, traveling the country, and testifying in court, Elizabeth's work becomes personal—especially when she discovers the identity of her premier adversary is the notorious Marie Waite. 

From the glamorous world of D.C. Intelligence to the sultry shores of the Straits of Florida, The Last Twelve Miles is based on the true story of two women masterminds trying to outwit each other in a dangerous and fascinating high stakes game.

Erika Robuck is the national bestselling author of historical fiction including Sisters of Night and Fog, The Invisible Woman, and Hemingway's Girl. Her articles have appeared in Writer Unboxed, Crime Reads, and Writer's Digest, and she has been named a Maryland Writer’s Association Notable Writer of 2024.

A boating enthusiast, amateur historian, and teacher, she resides in Annapolis with her husband and three sons.

Product Details ISBN: 9781728299839
ISBN-10: 1728299837
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English
"Move over Al Capone and Eliot Ness! It’s time to make space for Elizabeth Friedman and Marie Waite—a captivating pair of badass women on opposite sides of prohibition law. In her terrific new historical fiction, The Last Twelve Miles, Erika Robuck brings you Elizabeth, the brilliant cryptanalyst who breaks code for the U.S. Coast Guard, and Marie, the equally brilliant rumrunner who plies the waters off the coast of Florida. Never has there been a more fascinating set of rivals and you will find yourself torn over which of them you’d like to see win. Richly drawn characters, a crackerjack plot, and a setting that is equal parts glamorous and deadly make The Last Twelve Miles a must read for 2024." — Deborah Goodrich Royce, nationally bestselling author of Reef Road 

"The Last Twelve Miles is the thrilling story of two extraordinary women on opposite sides of the law, but with more in common than they think. Based on a true story, Elizebeth, a meticulous government codebreaker, hunts down Marie, the flamboyant rumrunner who makes and loses fortunes on the waters off the Florida Keys during Prohibition. Both the G-woman and the mobster are also wives and mothers struggling to thrive in men’s domains. A breezy and brutal glimpse into the world of Jazz Age gangsters from a fresh angle. Really enjoyable!" — Anika Scott, internationally bestselling author of Sinners of Starlight City

"Two women, a Coast Guard Special Agent and a bootlegger, face off against each other in this Prohibition-era novel. Their journeys of marriage, motherhood, and career intertwine in this fascinating story based on true events." — Rae Ann Parker, Parnassus Books

"In this gripping and devilishly exciting Prohibition-era novel, The Last Twelve Miles effortlessly tells the story of two real and brilliant women, one running illegal booze between Miami, the Bahamas and Cuba, and the other, a master codebreaker, hot on her trail. Robuck’s meticulous research and impeccable characterization shine through in this fierce, feminist and unforgettable novel." — Nicola Harrison, author of Hotel Laguna

"What a fun and riveting ride! Erika Robuck has unearthed two real-life Prohibition-era heroines—one a savvy rumrunner, the other an ambitious codebreaker—and vividly recreated their adventures, including a tension-packed cat-and-mouse game that threatens to destroy them both. The Last Twelve Miles so immersed me in the wild and raucous world of the Roaring Twenties that I never wanted it to end—even as I furiously turned the pages to see what would happen next." — Karen Abbott, NY Times bestselling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park

"The Last Twelve Miles is a richly detailed portrait of two compelling women on opposite sides of the law. Set against the backdrop of the Prohibition Rum Wars, Robuck has brought two real-life figures to the page with heartfelt intimacy and crackling suspense. A fascinating read!" — Chanel Cleeton, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Cuban Heiress

"Danger and intrigue will come to a head as Elizebeth and Marie play a deadly game of cat and mouse along the Florida coast. Fans of Kate Quinn, strong female protagonists, and history-based storytelling will enjoy this read." — Booklist