Author: Janet Evanovich, 2013.
Genre: Chick Lit Crime Fiction. Comedy/Drama.
Other Details: Unabridged Audiobook (6 hours, 8 mins). Read by Lorelei King.
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.
It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor. With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown. - synopsis from the author's website.
After a seven-month break it was fun to return for a new adventure with Stephanie and all the usual suspects. The plot follows the usual formula with Stephanie blundering her way through a few cases and being conflicted over her romantic relations; though this one also has a giraffe, which was pretty cool.
Reading reviews on Goodreads there seem to be a lot of focus on Stephanie's uncertainty about her feelings for Joe Morelli and Ranger. I am not really invested in the whole Joe vs Ranger issue so this vacillation is less annoying. I've read that Janet Evanovich has no plans to have Stephanie settle down and I would imagine that this will happen only if she decides to wind up the series. Then, like Charlaine Harris with Sookie Stackhouse, she will probably generate tons of fan outrage no matter which way she settles the issue. Meanwhile, she gets to sell merchandise for Team Ranger and Team Morelli on her site. She also sells a 'can't decide' t-shirt with logos for both camps. Canny.
This proved an undemanding entertaining listen during my drives out in the car.
Janet Evanovich's page on 'Takedown Twenty' - contains Chapters 1-4 of novel.