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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich has served up one of the most entertaining Stephanie Plum novels in recent memory with “Takedown Twenty.”

Things get very serious in the Trenton bail bond business– serious in Stephanie’s usual zany way.  She helps Ranger figure out who is murdering older women and stuffing their strangled bodies in dumpsters.  She also has two dangerous bond jumpers who almost get the best of her.  One is a Mafia wiseguy named Sunny Sunnuchi, a relative of Stephanie’s boyfriend, Joe Morelli.  Stephanie is nearly taken out a number of times trying to capture Uncle Sunny, and she gains the ire of the neighborhood and Joe’s Grandma Bella because Sunny is a favorite son to many inhabitants of the Burg.  Grandma Bella carries out a couple of serious curses on Stephanie and makes our favorite bail bonds enforcer unwelcome around the Morelli family home.  The second bounty hunt is against a young guy who is wanted for murder.  As a result of her attempt to capture the young thug she manages to fracture a finger and break her nose.  Her luck seems so bad on all fronts that she decides to quit the bond business and become a butcher’s assistant for the owner of a deli–until disaster strikes on that brief stint at the deli.

To add a little quirky humor to the plot, Lula keeps seeing a real giraffe loping down the streets surrounding Uncle Sunny’s establishment and she keeps following it just at times when Stephanie needs her help.  The whole mystery behind the giraffe is explained toward the end as Stephanie gets all the story threads tied up.

As usual for an Evanovich novel, “Takedown Twenty” is a funny, fast-paced read that will please the legion of Stephanie Plum lovers.

Liz Nichols

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