Cain’s Jawbone by Edward Powys Matthews– a fiendish literary puzzle

Six murders. One hundred pages. Millions of possible combinations… but only one is correct. Can you solve Torquemada’s murder mystery?

In 1934, the Observer’s cryptic crossword compiler, Edward Powys Mathers (aka Torquemada), released a novel that was simultaneously a murder mystery and the most fiendishly difficult literary puzzle ever written.

The pages have been printed in an entirely haphazard order, but it is possible – through logic and intelligent reading – to sort the pages into the only correct order, revealing six murder victims and their respective murderers.

Are you still looking for a great Christmas gift for the book lovers in your life? Do they like puzzles too? If so the fiendishly difficult Cain’s Jawbone could be just the thing you are looking for.

After reading an article on it around this time last year, I gifted a copy to my mother-in-law who thoroughly enjoys that kind of thing – she’s still no where near completing it – in fact to date only three people are know to have successfully completed it – two people on its original release and a couple of years ago the comedy writer and performer John Finnemore of Cabin Pressure fame. The gap is partly explained by the fact that the answer to the puzzle was thought to have been lost for a while, but also it really is that difficult to solve.

The whole thing is really fascinating and a great time waster!

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