By Edward Powys Mathers
A paperback edition of the world's most difficult literary puzzle
About the book
'A unique hybrid of word puzzle and whodunnit' Literary Review
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.
Please note: this puzzle is extremely difficult and not for the faint-hearted.
What are the dimensions of the book?
Hi Tejas, the book is an A format paperback, measuring approximately 178 x 111mm.
hi! this book is sold out everywhere due to tiktok and i was wondering when more are going to be in stock? thank you!!
New stock arrives at Unbound on 14 December. If you want one then you can pre-order to secure a copy.
Is the book printed single-sided? (For if we want to cut out the pages and rearrange them)
Hi Kate. Yes - the book is printed one-sided to allow for cutting and rearranging!
Are you shopping to Ireland here
Hi Lauren, We are currently not taking orders for published books from the EU due to the recent customs changes. We are working on a solution and will open up to EU supporters again soon.
Does the paperback come as loose leaf pages to reassemble?
Hi Stephanie, The paperback is not loose leaf but others have removed the pages in order to reassemble them. Best wishes, Lena
What if I solve the book and want to know if my solution is correct? Can I send the answers to get them checked?
We are indeed still validating submissions, and anyone who solves the puzzle before 31 December 2022 will receive £250 to spend supporting other book projects on the Unbound site. You can submit entries via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
I would like to pre-order a copy but can't find any way to do this on the website. Thanks.
Hi Rachel, We have currently sold out of all our preorders. Don't worry we will be getting it back in stock but it may be another few weeks!
I’ve just received my two copies of this book, it says only one entry per person, if i’ve submitted my entry and failed, can I submit another entry even if it means i won’t get a prize? Or would i just get two entries as i bought two books
Hi there, Unfortunately, as per our Terms and Conditions, only one entry per person is permitted so you cannot resubmit another entry even if you purchase multiple copies.
Is this a smaller book size wise?
Hi Andy, This is a paperback book about 178 × 111 mm in size. Hope that helps!
Hello. I dont see anywhere in the project details when you will have copies available. Any news about it? My copy still needs to be sent to Mexico, just to have an estimate of arrival. Thanks!
Hi Luis, Thanks for reaching out! I've looked into your order and it appeared to have held up due to shipping restrictions to Mexico due to Covid-19. This has been resolved and your copy has been dispatched. You should receive tracking information shortly.
I am planning to attempt this with my Year 12 English class. Can we submit a solution as a group? Also, is there a way to purchase an official digital download of the text? Thanks!
Hi Emma, Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately there is no digital download available. You are welcome to submit a solution as a group. Lena
Can I still check my answer even if it’s past the deadline, just to see whether I solved it or not?
Hi Mil, Thanks for reaching out! The deadline is the final opportunity to get answers checked. We will not be responding to submitted answers after this date.
Do you ship to Malta please? Thomas
Hi Thomas, We are currently unable to ship published books to the EU whilst our system is updated for new IOSS registration. Best wishes, Lena
If we submit our answers after the deadline. Can we still get an answer? Not to win and get the money, just to satisfy our curiosity if we got it right.
Hi NaThya, No submissions will be accepted once the competition closes on 31st December 2022. We don't have the capacity to continue checking answers after this date.
Will you ever open the contest back up in the future?
Hi there, Thanks for reaching out. There are no plans to reopen the competition once it closes in December 2022.
Hi! I just want to ask if you have any plans to reveal the answer after the competition ended? Seems like there's no way to know the answer after the deadline and that's so sad :(
Hello! We won't be revealing the answer after the competition I'm afraid. We might reopen the competition at a later date however if no one solves it!
Hi, I’m definitely not going to get this done before the competition ends (I don’t really care about it anyway). Can I still email after the competition has ended to see if I’m right?
Hi! Regretfully, we have already extended the deadline for submissions for this particular competition and will be unable to do so again so if you would like to know if you have successfully completed the puzzle please submit your answers by this deadline.
If I've noticed a mistake in my submitted answer form, can I fix it before the deadline?
Hi Rebecca, Please contact the email address for entry submissions who will try to help. Best wishes, Lena