Cain’s Jawbone

October 19, 2017

A brief (and very welcome) commercial break from the Laurence Sterne Trust.

The Laurence Sterne Trust is a charitable trust, museum and gallery who promote the life and works of Laurence Sterne, author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman – a masterwork of experimental fiction. We are interested in all texts that have nonlinear, unusual or nonconforming structure. Which is where our interest in Torquemada’s Puzzle Book, more specifically ‘Cain’s Jawbone’ lies – the 100 page shuffled murder mystery novella at the end of the puzzle book. ‘Cain’s Jawbone’ is a 100 page murder mystery that the author (Edward Powys Mathers aka. Torquemada – the first cryptic crossword compiler for The Observer) claims was bound in the wrong order – it requires the reader to reorder the pages correctly to successfully solve the murder. When it was published in the 1930s there was a cash prize, only two people solved the murder mystery and the answer was never published. A copy of the puzzle book was donated to Shandy Hall over a year ago and we know the solution. The Laurence Sterne Trust wish to republish the text and reopen the competition for a cash prize of £1,000 through a publisher called Unbound – a crowdfunding website for books, more information of which can be found here:… We thought our project/competition may be of interest to you and/or your readers.


One Response to “Cain’s Jawbone”

  1. AndyT said

    A worthy endeavour. As it happens some of us were discussing this project recently.

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