Takedown Twenty is definitely better than the previous few books in the Stephanie Plum series. Is it great or memorable? No, but I don't feel like I wasted a lot of time with this one.
I think it would be hard to be original by the time a series reached twenty books and this book proves that point. This installment finds Stephanie and Lula up to their old habits. The only new aspect of the story is the addition of a mystery giraffe.
Stephanie is also in exactly the same place with both Morelli and Ranger. Big surprise. I find it hard to understand what Morelli sees in Stephanie but I can accept it because it isn't too far fetched. Ranger is even harder to understand. They seemingly know very little about each other and really only have sexual chemistry and their chosen profession in common. That's fine for casual "relationships" but not for two people who have occasionally discussed the possibility of marriage (or the lack thereof). In Takedown Twenty, Ranger even (essentially) says he is interested in having Stephanie living with him but isn't "willing to pay the price right now....probably never." That's still more consideration to the issue than seems fitting.
I think I'm just tired of the repetitive plots. This one was slightly more enjoyable, slightly more mysterious, and slightly less boring than the past few. If I didn't have such a jaded view of the current state of the series going into this one, I think I would feel more confident with my 3-star rating.