Master Sudoku: Step-by-Step Instructions for Players at All Levels is definitely the best of the Sudoku books I’ve come across yet. That is not to say the others aren’t also very good but this one has more puzzles, over 200 including easy, medium, difficult and super-difficult. Also included are the most extensive and detailed instructions and tips. The tips are given for each level of difficulty and therefore progress as one also progresses from the easy to the more difficult puzzles. Then at each level, Carol gives a complete step by step solution for a puzzle of that level. I don’t want to give the impression that this book is any more complicated than others, just more detailed. It would be an excellent book for someone who is just getting started or who has been doing them for some time. I’d just like to throw in a couple of other thoughts. I first started doing Sudoku’s in May of this year when I “found” them in a local “freebie” newspaper. The first thing I found was they were too small and the newsprint was poor to write on and erase. So, for what it’s worth, I made up a blank grid 4 1/2 X4 ½ inches, making each cell 1/2 X 1/2 inch. I put 2 of them on a sheet of standard white paper 8 1/2 by 11 and made a bunch of copies. By the way, I used a heavier line for the outside edges and the edges of what Carol calls mini-grids or as I call them, blocks. Then, I transfer the numbers to my sheets to work on. I use a fairly bold marker to fill in the given numbers. A double check here ensures you haven’t made a mistake copying the numbers. This emphasizing makes it easy to keep the rows, columns and mini-grids separated.
By marking in the “givens” boldly, it keeps them obvious from the “possible” or “found” solutions. It also allows one to return to the book later and redo puzzles or to pass on to someone else. Another thing, I’ve found that a mechanical pencil, with its thin replaceable leads (no sharpening) and an “eraser pen” with a replaceable eraser is the best to work with. Another different feature of this book is the bit about keeping score. Carol gives points for scoring times which by the way, increases with the puzzle’s level of difficulty. It might be fun to see how you’ve improved when you return to these same puzzles a few months later. Again, your times against yourself or Carol’s suggested times. You might want to check out the reviews I’ve written on other Sudoku books on Aug 3, (2 books), Aug 6 and Aug 10 of this year.