The Chicago Window

In the Penal Colony, Moby Grape,

& Judith Beheading Holofernes

Kevin Kilroy


ISBN 978-1-949966-90-9        384 pages        $18.00


The Chicago Window is structured similar to the eponymous architectural phenomenon: two double-hung sash novellas flanking a fixed center novel. The three panes include: Moby Grape, In the Penal Colony, and Judith Beheading Holofernes. Each of these three works deals obliquely with the gentrification of Chicago’s Near Northwest Side.


In Moby Grape, Chuck Yeager, cult detective, is about to make amends with the sins of his youth. But he's left his gun in his Santa Barbara motel room, his street smarts in Chicago, and his soul in a Paris pensionné. An invitation to celebrity winemaker Levi Seeds' wedding reveals an old friend’s vengeance that has been sizzling in the shadows—Chuck Yeager must outwit his tendered fate, as he is pulled out of the Chicago sludge to face the madness he once evaded.


In the Penal Colony is the story of a riddler hired to track down fourteen escaped lunatics who used one of the riddler’s riddles as their means of escaping. It takes place post-September 11th in the Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park—a place and time where the high tide lines of urban decay and deformity began to disappear.


A comedic and lyrical investigation into contemporary cities, Judith Beheading Holofernes recasts Judith as an artist and Holofernes as a developer. Holofernes is on a mission to uncover the secret hideout of the pioneering artists who are the source of innovation and profit: The Fortress. Devout member of The Fortress, Judith is a Denver gangbanger turned Chicago writer, an irreverent whimsy serving to disguise her intentions while sharpening her blade.

It's like Dashiell Hammett meets Eugène Ionesco meets the 21st century.

     Laird Hunt, on The Escapees


Kilroy has deftly written a philosophical mystery set in a city of crumbling ontologies, where keys are plenty, but locks are few.

    Rowland Saifi, on The Escapees

Kevin Kilroy is a writer and a teacher living in Kansas City. His stories have been published by Akashic, Dispatches, Fact-Simile, Masque & Spectacle, Hot Whiskey, Poets & Artists, Sherlock Holmes & Philosophy and others. Kevin co-founded Black Lodge Press. He is the author of The Escapees and Dead Ends (Spuyten Duyvil).