Transatlantic is thrilled to see AGNES, MURDERESS (Freehand Books) by Sarah Leavitt is making rounds, thanks to a myriad of glowing reviews, features, and press for her breakout graphic novel about one of Canada’s most enigmatic serial killers.

Reviews and Features

“Just in time for the dark days setting in, AGNES, MURDERESS is perfect late night fireside reading. Don’t worry about those strange sounds behind you.” – Vancouver Sun (

“Canadian comic to watch this fall.” – CBC Books (

“Agnes is a killer with no apparent empathy for others, but did her soul become twisted by a generational curse, or is she simply a psychopath? Leavitt conjures a vivid sense of place in just a few simple brushstrokes, but she doesn’t offer any easy answers.” – Georgia Straight (

“13 creepy Canadian books to read on Halloween” – CBC Books (

Interviews and Appearances

All Lit Up interview:

North by Northwest (CBC Radio) interview:

AGNES, MURDERESS is a graphic novel inspired by the bloody legend of Agnes McVee, a roadhouse owner, madam and serial killer in the Cariboo region of British Columbia in the late nineteenth century. Fascinated by this legend—which originated in a 1970s guide to buried treasure in BC, and has never been verified—Sarah Leavitt has imagined an entirely new story for the mysterious Agnes: her immigration to Canada from an isolated Scottish Island; her complex entanglement with shiny things; and her terrifying grandmother, Gormul, who haunts Agnes’s dreams and waking life.

Leavitt puts a decidedly queer twist on the story, moving from women’s passionate friendships in the gardens of St John’s Wood to female relationships in the Canadian wild. At the same time, the book grapples with the dangerous pre-conceived notions held by settlers that the country was a “new world,” free of ghosts and history. Agnes, Murderess presents a tortured, complicated woman struggling to escape her past. It is a spine-chilling tale of ghosts and murder, friendship and betrayal, love and greed, fate and choice. 

Sarah Leavitt is the author of the graphic memoir Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me, published in Canada, the US, UK, Germany, France, and Korea to international critical acclaim. It was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize in 2010 and is currently in development as a feature-length animation. Sarah has developed and taught comics classes for the UBC Creative Writing Program since 2012, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Sarah is represented by Samantha Haywood.