Apr 3, 2012

Salute Your Shorts: A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews

Salute Your Shorts Meme image from Bunbury in the Stacks
Salute Your Shorts is a weekly (ish) meme hosted here at Bunbury in the Stacks highlighting and reviewing short stories and novellas. Everyone is welcome to join at any time, just grab the pic above and shoot me a link in the comments so that I can include your post in a roundup.
Cover image of Dark and Stormy Knights by P.N. Elrod
Title: A Questionable Client in Dark and Stormy Knights [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Ilona Andrews [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Short story, prequel to Magic Burns.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: July 14th, 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: Paperback; 45 pages (complete book 357 pages).  
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Other Resources: Also available in a Kindle e-book, Magic Graves. [Amazon|GoodReads]

I went up to 158 and knocked.
The door shot open.  Gina Castor’s dark eyes glared at me.  An AK-47 hung off her shoulder.  She held a black duffel in one hand and her sword in the other.  “What took you so long?”
“Hello to you, too.”
She pushed past me, the thin, slightly stooped Rodriguez following her.  “He’s all yours.”
I caught the door before it clicked shut.  “Where is the client?”
“Chained to the bed.” They headed to the elevator.

Castor flashed her teeth at me.  “You’ll figure it out.”
Hey Kate Daniels fans, did you ever want to know what went on between Kate and Saiman that gave him a soft spot (and a hard one) for her?  Heck, did you ever want to know if Saiman was really even technically a guy?  If so, you need to track down either Dark and Stormy Knights or Magic Graves to get your hands on the short story, A Questionable Client.  Chronologically, A Questionable Client was published after Magic Bleeds, the fourth Kate Daniels novel, but the story takes place prior to Magic Burns.  This means not only does it answer some questions for existing Kate Daniels fans, it’s a good gateway read for those interested in checking out the series.

A Questionable Client tells the story of Kate Daniels, the ever-struggling-for-money mercenary who is unable to refuse one night of bodyguard duty for a whopping three grand.  She figures something’s up.  Nobody pays that much money for one night, and yet she still gets more than she bargained for when she shows up to find Saiman chained to a bed, refusing to talk about why he’s restrained or why she’s on the job.  She’s quick enough to realize, he went and pissed off the Russians, and it’s going to be a long night.

Personally, I really enjoyed reading this story and filling in this bit of Kate’s background after reading the first two books and seeing her future relationship with this character.  I love that Ilona Andrews doesn’t feel the need to fill us in on every detail of Kate’s relationships in her books, and yet it’s like getting a little present to read the formation of one of them!  I also love how Ilona takes the opportunity in this series to focus on so many rich folklores and mythologies that don’t always get the limelight.  In this case, it’s Russian folklore, and despite the brief length, I felt the story was very rich and interesting in this regard.

In the end, this story clearly isn’t necessary to the overall enjoyment of the series, but if you do enjoy the series, I think A Questionable Client is certainly worth the read.


  1. Haven't read this one! But I really should since I love the Kate Daniels series.

    1. You should! I think the Kindle book is pretty cheap.


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