By Janet Evanovich
rating: 2/5 Stairs
I liked Takedown Twenty more than the last Stephanie Plum I listened to, Smokin’ Seventeen, but still not as enjoyable as her earlier fare. Grandma Mazur has more of a presence, which bumped this up to 2 Stairs. For readers wondering why I am continuing to read this series, you can check out my Smokin’ Seventeen review. (Basically, I’ve been in this race a long time and I’m going to see it to the end.)
Takedown Twenty hits six of the seven standard scenarios (at least that I’ve identified) of a Stephanie Plum novel. So close to hitting all seven, but her car gets smashed by a fire truck and not blown up in this outing. However, there is quite a bit of time spent at viewings at the funeral parlor, so that helps make up for the lack of car explosions. Ms. Evanovich ups the hijinks factor with a lost giraffe that Lula and Stephanie continue to see wandering the streets of New Jersey.
For a few brief minutes, I thought that Stephanie was going to show some character growth and actually make a permanent commitment to Joe Morelli. This lasted for a few brief audio book minutes, and then she quickly went back to her standard non-committal attitude. So a big check mark to the continued lack of character growth.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you’ve never read Stephanie Plum, pick up one of the earlier stories when they were fun and still fresh. These later novels depend on recycled plots, overused scenarios, and just general hijinks to get the job done.