#BookReview The Last Twelve Miles by Erika Robuck @Sourcebooks @sbkslandmark #TheLastTwelveMiles #ErikaRobuck #bookmarkedbylandmark Title: The Last Twelve Miles

Author: Erika Robuck

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jun. 4, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Sourcebooks Landmark

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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.


Fascinating, compelling, and fresh!

The Last Twelve Miles is an evocative, intriguing tale that sweeps you between Washington D.C. and the Bahamas during 1926 and into the lives of two women; Elizabeth Friedman, a talented codebreaker tasked with intercepting and deciphering messages to take down the most enterprising of smugglers, and Marie Waits, a mother of two who decides to take over the rum-running business from her husband and build it into something bigger and better than ever before.

The prose is expressive and rich. The characters are complex, intelligent, and driven. And the plot is a well-paced, entertaining mix of life, loss, love, justice, power, family, sacrifice, danger, corruption, politics, and ruthless ambition.

Overall, The Last Twelve Miles is an intricate, vivid, satisfying tale by Robuck inspired by real-life events that does a lovely job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an engaging tale that is atmospheric and highly absorbing.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Erika Robuck

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 the Maryland Writer’s Association’s Notable Writer of April 2024.

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

Photo by Nick Woodall.

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