Cain's Jawbone Box

By Edward Powys Mathers

You've seen the TikTok, but have you bought the box to solve the ultimate Novel Problem?

Crime | Fiction
78% funded
374 supporters
Funding
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Make Cain's Jawbone Box a reality – choose your reward below.
$40  + shipping
303 pledges

Box

An illustrated box (186mm x 120mm x 48mm) with one hundred individual cards.

PLUS:

  • Room for notes at the bottom of each page
Choose this reward
$70  + shipping
76 pledges

Two Boxes

You and your friend can be a pair of sleuths - and team up to solve Cain's Jawbone together!

PLUS:

  • Two illustrated boxes (186mm x 120mm x 48mm) with one hundred individual cards in each
  • Room for notes at the bottom of the page
Choose this reward

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get the box in time for Christmas 2022?

Until the box reaches 100% funded we will not have a delivery date. As the boxes require a long production time Christmas 2022 delivery is unlikely

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

If James Joyce and Agatha Christie had a literary lovechild, this would be it.  Daily Telegraph 

A unique hybrid of word puzzle and whodunnit.  Literary Review

Cain’s Jawbone is a 100 page whodunnit in which six people die. To find out who killed them, the reader must re-arrange the book’s pages in the correct order. There is only one solution. To date, only three people have ever found it.

The story so far...

In 1934, The Observer’s crossword writer, Edward Powys Mathers, wrote a unique novel Cain’s Jawbone, published by Gollancz. The title, referring to the first recorded murder weapon, was written under his pen name Torquemada. The story was not only a murder mystery but one of the hardest and most beguiling word puzzles ever published and was only solved by two puzzlers whose names were later revealed in The Observer - but the solution to the problem remained a secret.

In 2017, the Laurence Sterne Trust (who after many months of research and good fortune had managed to unlock the secret of Cain’s Jawbone) partnered with Unbound to revive Torquemada’s challenge and Cain’s Jawbone was reissued as a box of 100 cards. A prize of £1,000 was offered, with a closing date of 19 September 2020. Astonishingly, there was a correct entry and the comedy writer and puzzle fiend John Finnemore claimed the prize.

The paperback was re-released in 2021 and became a viral senstation with over one hundred thousand copies sold worldwide, and to date is being translated into eight different languages. 

In this specially customised box are one hundred cards of individual pages from the book, sorted in an entirely haphazard order. Through logic and intelligent reading, you can sort the cards into the only correct solution to reveal the six murder victims - and their respective murderers.

This beautifully bound package is the ultimate gift for the detective in your life or a brilliant collectable for yourself, if you're brave enough to attempt this notoriously difficult puzzle.

Can't wait for the box?  Purchase a copy of the paperback edition here.

Support this project

Quick select rewards

$40  + shipping
303 pledges

Box

An illustrated box (186mm x 120mm x 48mm) with one hundred individual cards.

PLUS:

  • Room for notes at the bottom of each page
Choose this reward
$70  + shipping
76 pledges

Two Boxes

You and your friend can be a pair of sleuths - and team up to solve Cain's Jawbone together!

PLUS:

  • Two illustrated boxes (186mm x 120mm x 48mm) with one hundred individual cards in each
  • Room for notes at the bottom of the page
Choose this reward