What is it? 

Cains Jawbone is a puzzle book written by Edward Powys Mathers, published in 1934, it has been known for only being solved by about four people so far with millions of possibilities. The book is written out of order with each page needed to be put back together to make the story make sense, once that is completed, a person must then point out the crimes in the puzzle and figure who has acted them out. Even from first glance the order still is seemingly puzzling, the book addresses itself in a way that pushed you right into the story and requires numerous reads for you to even understand it – the language differences between the 1930’s and now also adding difficulty.  


It's difficult to say whether there is a specific way in which it makes it easy to solve however heavy annotations seems to be the way that’ll help. The novel has recently gained popularity again and many are attempting in all sorts of ways to solve it; whether that be pinning the pages up and finding the patterns one by one or frantically reading and edging through to find as many clues as possible. Once you believe you have solved it, there is a website in which you can mark your results and find out whether you have managed to comprise this arduous novel back into its original form. The book itself claims to have a competition ending on December 31st, 2022, in which they will give a “£250/€350 to spend supporting other book projects”.  


One student has been attempting to solve this novel claiming, “I don’t really mind if I don’t ever end up solving it, it seemed fun and it gives me something to do,” she later added how it developed her reasoning and logic skills, continuing to say that she would keep persevering and finds herself enjoying it more every day. So, the final point to make would be tips from a person who has already started. 

  • Highlighting and annotating means that links are found easily, there can often be more information under the surface. 
  • Keep practicing small things, even if you can’t focus on this puzzle, find ways to incorporate similar things into your daily routine to keep your mind ready. 
  • Always remain determined, the harder you work, the more you’ll find and enjoy the intriguing nature of the mystery. 


Cain's jawbone, although difficult, is quite the brain teaser, puzzles help your brain in so many ways and are an interesting way to add something new to your day. So, the question is, will you attempt this fascinating puzzle?