Cain's Jawbone

Cain’s Jawbone – The Ultimate Puzzle

What is Cain’s Jawbone?

Cain’s Jawbone is arguably the most difficult literary puzzle ever created. So difficult that only 4 people have ever solved it in the 88 years since its publication.

This ‘novel puzzle’ contains cryptic clues in a 100-page story about 6 murders.

However, when Cain’s Jawbone was first published, in The Torquemada Puzzle Book, it was accidentally published in the wrong order – as though all the pages had been scattered and picked up again.

All the pages start and end with a complete sentence – by analyzing each page, you can figure out what the order of the story is… and then figure out the murders.

The novel was almost lost to time until it was crowdfunded through Unbound and went viral on TikTok, immediately selling out in all bookshops and online.

Who wrote Cain’s Jawbone?

The author of this book Edward Powys Mathers, better known by his penname Torquemada, was an English translator and poet.

He also became a pioneer in compiling advanced cryptic crosswords.

Torquemada combined his ability to write cryptically with poetry and a non-linear narrative to create this novel.

Edward Powys Mathers

How to solve Cain’s Jawbone?

Ok. So how to crack this code?

Solving Cain’s Jawbone isn’t easy… As you can imagine.

Buy the paperback on Amazon or via Unbound and cut out each of the 100 pages (they’re one-sided for convenience)

Then you can begin to look through the pages and analyse them. It is littered with antiquated phrases and references so there’s going to be a whole load of researching.

Thank yourselves lucky you have the internet – it wasn’t a thing when this book was first published, they had much less help.

Re-arrange the pages as you begin to work out their order – I think you pretty much have to create a crime scene board with the red string, it’d be a shame not to

crime board

Some of the pages have poems going over multiple pages – these are the easiest to put together, the author was entirely cruel.

There are over 100! (thats a 1 with 158 zeros) combinations to rearrange this book.

  1. Put the pages in the right order
  2. Figure out the red herrings
  3. Work out the murderers
  4. Complete the submission form in the front of the book
  5. Receive confirmation from Unbound that you got the answer correct!
  6. Bask in the glory that you are one of the few people on the Earth that have completed this puzzle

What’s the prize?

The prize isn’t much – but it’s better than nothing.

And ultimately the real prize is syaing you’ve managed to figure it out.

But you now get £250 to spend on Unbound to fund their literary projects Рthis way the money goes back into creating something amazing and supporting people within the Arts.

The prize for figuring out a crowdsourced book is to create more crowdsourced books – how poetic.

Buy Now: Cain’s JawboneAmazon

Read Next: 8 Non-Fiction Books To Read In 2022

Are you going to solve this puzzle? Join me – we’ll have a race!

About the author


Welcome! I'm Joseph. I'm trying to be a writer! While I could dabble at poetry, attempt and fail at a novel or two or even become an essayist Y'know these are all things I actually want to do... Anyway, that's beside the point. I want to hone my writing, explore my curiosity and share all the wonders of the world that I find with you!

View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *