I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
I don't care! I love this series! I actually love the love triangle! I'm unrepentant in my love for these books, even if, after 20 of them, there has been no evolution or growth for Stephanie et al.
Well, that's out of the way now.
Takedown Twenty has Stephanie trying to catch the most popular man in the Burg for skipping bail. He's also Morelli's godfather and Grandma Bella's nephew. Sooo, not a lot of help here from anyone and lots of Grandma Bella giving her "the eye". Stephanie is also helping out Ranger with a string of old-lady murders and trying to track down an errant giraffe roaming the streets.
All of this is done with her usual style, or lack thereof. There aren't any surprises here, but there are a ton of laughs. Poor DH had to hear me laugh out loud so many times he finally paused the TV and told me to read him what I found so damn funny (that specific scene involved fish...)
The usual cast of characters are here and they remain faithful to, and predictable in their personalities and their roles. Mom's still sneaking nips from the whiskey, Dad's still oblivious, Grandma Mazur is still trying to hook up, Vinnie's still despicable and Lula is still, well, Lula.
This remains the ONLY series where I can not only abide, but enjoy, the love triangle. I like both Morelli AND Ranger and I believe each brings something to Stephanie's life that she needs. God forgive me, but I'm totally on board with her keeping both men in her life for the foreseeable future. Obviously, no forward momentum is made here either - no choice is made that lasts for more than 5 minutes. What I have noticed though, is a very slight, subtle change on Ranger's part over the course of all these books. He's still clear about no commitments, but he's not nearly as vociferous about it as he used to be. He's also showing just a tiny bit of perturbation over Stephanie's brushes with death. Maybe by book 40...
I'll wrap this up by saying, I did not see the end coming. Maybe I should have, but the murderer came as a total surprise to me. Very cool.
As DH pointed out, JE has been sticking with alliterative titles lately and she's looking at a whole lot of "T"'s coming up if she's going to continue through the 20's (and the 30's???). Should be interesting to see how that works out...