Congratulations on the publication of NOT THAT KIND OF PLACE by Michael Melgaard publishing today from House of Anansi Press!

In May 1997, eighteen-year-old Laura McPherson left her house for a run and didn’t return …

Twenty years later, a reporter arrives in the small town of Griffiths to write an article about the unsolved murder of Laura McPherson. He is the most recent in a long line of journalists, podcasters, and amateur sleuths seeking new insights into what really happened to Laura.

Laura’s younger brother, David, a repressed and stuck thirty-something, is dealing with the recent death of his mother when the reporter comes knocking. The last surviving family member, David has lived a sheltered life, protected from the prying eyes of the media by his mother. But David cannot escape the past forever, and soon finds himself confronting the lasting impact of his sister’s death. As David learns more about his sister and the history of Griffiths, his eyes are opened to the casual violence, misogyny, and racism that lurk just below the surface of his seemingly placid community.

Provocative and haunting, Not That Kind of Place is a literary anti-mystery, a compelling exploration of our obsession with true-crime stories and the devastating effects of systemic violence on our most vulnerable populations.


“Not That Kind of Place utterly captivates … David’s journey to understanding is low-key, almost laconic, but this approach only adds power to the narrative, leaving it to the reader to carry the weight of his new understanding. It’s a brilliant approach and a brilliant novel.” —Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

“This is not a conventional who-done-it … The hunt here isn’t so much the search for the murderer, as the revelation of the collective malaise. We don’t live where we think we live. We are not who we think we are.” —Miramichi Reader

“No matter how it looks on a postcard, every small town has its secrets. In his enthralling debut novel, Not That Kind of Place, Michael Melgaard deftly explores how those secrets can erode the mythology of a place and reveal ultimate truths on their own. Through a richly layered story crafted at a riveting pace, Melgaard exposes the faults of the idyllic snapshot of Canadiana and the collective humanity needed to face tragedy and heal as a community. This novel is at once a compelling mystery and a sharp social critique, bringing the voices of the marginalized to the centre and forcing us to question the power imbalance of any Canadian community.” —Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon of the Crusted Snow

“Much more than just an absorbing mystery, Not That Kind of Place shines its light beyond the standard coverage of true crime to the depths of deep-rooted societal injustice. A page-turning exploration of what actually goes into making a town what it is.” —Iain Reid, author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things

MICHAEL MELGAARD is the author of the short story collection Pallbearing. His writing has appeared in Best Canadian Stories anthology, as well as Joyland, Lithub, and elsewhere. He is a former book columnist for the National Post. Originally from Vancouver Island, he currently lives in Toronto.

Michael is represented by Marilyn Biderman.