Speaking of “puzzle fiction”…a really cool book I ordered just arrived!
Cain’s Jawbone — billed as the “world’s most fiendish literary puzzle”, and a literal book in a box…
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.
Only two puzzlers have ever solved the mystery of Cain’s Jawbone: do you have what it takes to join their ranks?
Please note: this puzzle is extremely difficult and not for the faint-hearted.
I backed the project on Unbound, a crowdfunding site for publishing projects. It’s being published by The Laurence Sterne Trust, which “is interested in all literary works that challenge the idea of linear narrative” and holds the original in their collection.
And one really cool part of this: the solution is apparently still a closely guarded secret, and they’re bringing back a competition with a £1,000 prize to the first reader who solves it!