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John Lovering Benedict had more of everything than most men, most of all more women--including 3 ex-wives with little in common but their extraordinary physiques. For Ellery Queen the question was which one of them had bashed in Benedict's skull with a hunk of iron statuary? The clues were many, but puzzling. All had been planted at the scene of the crime, but by whom, and for what purpose? And who was the last woman in John Benedict's life?

The green wig belonged to a redheaded Vegas show girl. The sequined gown had highlighted the bouncy silhouette of a blonde off-Broadway actress. The long evening gloves were the property of a bosomy small-town nurse. These were more than an inventory of ladies' wear. For they were found on the scene of a brutal crime during a hideaway weekend, near the body of an internationally known jet-setter notorious for his pursuit of beautiful women. What did they mean? ... There is the victim's dying message. There is the mysterious woman to whom the trail is long and difficult. Above all there is the question: Who was the last woman in his life?

The Last Woman in his Life - dust cover World Publishing Co., New York and Cleveland, 1969.The Last Woman in his Life - hardcover World Publishing Co., New York and Cleveland, BCE, 1969.The Last Woman in his Life - hardcover World Publishing Co., New York and Cleveland, 1970.The Last Woman in his Life - dust cover Gollancz edition, London, 1970.
Above left to right: a dust and 2 hardcovers World Publishing Co. (1969-1970);  dust cover Gollancz edition (1970).
Note: Some confusion since at least one (BCE with gray HC) World Publishing co. edition is copyrighted in 1969. Another edition (green HC) clearly indicates 1970 both for copyright and year of first publication.  (Click on the covers to see the differences) *
Another dying clue, another plot that seems stretched out for its length, with the final solution not quite as surprising as it should be. Too much penny-ante psychology, not enough story. Wrightsville revisited.

The plot can't be discussed seriously without giving away the (obvious) solution.

At the end of Face to Face Ellery was at JFK watching a BOAC jet take Harry Burke away, and he's still there on the first page of this novel. In the airport restaurant a few minutes later, he and his father happen upon two of Ellery's Harvard classmates, millionaire John Levering Benedict III and his attorney Al Marsh. John invites the exhausted Queens to rest up at his 600-acre sylvan retreat, which happens to lie between Wrightsville and the "glass village" of Shinn Corners. Ellery finds that Wrightsville has changed for the worse but still considers it "a viable Shangri-La" until John's ex-wives arrive on the property ...

Queen did a lot of self-borrowing here. A modus operandi reminiscent of their radio plots. Ellery's momentary compulsion to drop out in the first scenes resembles the opening of Cat of Many Tails. The wedding cake figures echo back the short story "The Lonely Bride" (1949). The negative clue in John's wardrobe harks back to The King is Dead, and the murderer's use of his victim's clothes to The Spanish Cape Mystery. (Nevins)
 
The Last Woman in his Life - cover pocket book edition, Signet T4580, April 1971 (1st).The Last Woman in his Life - cover pocket book edition, Signet 451-Y7123, August 3. 1976 The Last Woman in his Life - cover pocket book edition, "A Signet Double Mystery" , 451-AE1562, June 1, 1982The Last Woman in his Life - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Mark Peckham, July 1. 2014The Last Woman in his Life - cover MysteriousPress.com/Open Road, August 4, 2015
 


Horen, zien en zwijgen - cover Dutch pocket book edition, Prisma Detectives N° 207, 1972Horen, zien en zwijgen - cover Dutch pocket book edition, Prisma Detectives N° 530, 1984 (2nd). (Cover art Guusje Kaayk)La dernière femme de sa vie - cover French edition éditions J'ai Lu, Paris, Nr 2052, 1986Die letzte Frau seines Lebens - cover German edition Ullstein Krimi N°1382, 1971Seine letzte Frau - cover German edition Kaizer KrimiSeine letzte Frau - cover German edition Scherz-Verlag
L’ultima donna della sua vita - Cover Italian edition, Collana Dei Gialli Mondadori, N° 1215, 1972L’ultima donna della sua vita - Cover Italian edition, 2008O caçador de beldades - cover Portuguese edition, Coleccao Vampiro, Livros do Brasil, Lisboa, 1970A Ultima Mulher Em Sua Vida - cover Portuguese edition, Abril Cultural, 1981, BrasilLa Última mujer en su vida - cover Spanish edition, Barcelona, 1987

The last woman in his life Translations: 
Danish: Den fjerde kvinde  
Dutch/Flemish: Horen, zien en zwijgen  
Finnish:
Hänen elämänsä viimeinen nainen  
French: La dernière femme de sa vie  
German: Seine letzte Frau (aka Die letzte Frau seines Lebens) 
Greek: ΤΡΕΙΣ ΥΠΟΠΤΕΣ ΓΙΑ ΦΟΝΟ 
Italian: L’ultima donna della sua vita  
Japanese: saigonoonna  
Lithuanian: Paskutinioji jo gyvenime moteris  
Portuguese: A Ultima Mulher Em Sua Vida  
aka O caçador de beldades  
Russian: ПОСЛЕДНЯЯ ЖЕНЩИНА В ЕГО ЖИЗНИ
  
Spanish: La Última mujer en su vida  

A Ultima Mulher Em Sua Vida - cover Argentinian edition, 1976La Última mujer en su vida - cover Argentinian editionDen fjerde kvinde - cover Danish editionDen fjerde kvinde - cover Danish edition, Rosenkilde, February 15. 2018Hänen elämänsä viimeinen nainen - Cover Finnish edition 1971
Paskutinioji jo gyvenime moteris - cover Lithuanian edition, 1994, EuropaΤΡΕΙΣ ΥΠΟΠΤΕΣ ΓΙΑ ΦΟΝΟ - Cover Greek edition, 2007
Дьявол заплатит - cover Russian compilation, contains three Ellery Queen stories, "The Devil to Pay" (Дьявол заплатит), "The House of Brass" (Бронзовый дом), "The Last Woman in His Life" (Последняя женщина в его жизни), Publisher Canon (Kahoh), 1994.ПОСЛЕДНЯЯ ЖЕНЩИНА В ЕГО ЖИЗНИ - Cover Russian edition, 2006 (together with A Fine and Private Place)The Last Woman in his Life - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa Publishing (full cover), 1976The Last Woman in his Life - cover Chinese edition, New Star Press, December 10. 2011
 


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Reading Ellery Queen - The Last Woman in His Life Jon Mathewson (Sep 2016)
 
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