36. Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock, with Linda Bailey and Isabelle Follath

Detail from the hardcover edition. Illustration (c) Isabelle Follath, 2022.

This episode, we are delighted to welcome to the podcast Linda Bailey and Isabelle Follath, respectively the author and illustrator of Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock (2023), a new children’s biography of Conan Doyle.

You can listen to the podcast here. 

Please note that we had intermittent audio problems during recording and have done what we can to correct this. We hope this doesn't affect your listening pleasure too much!

Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock: The True Story of Arthur Conan Doyle (2023)

The fascinating true story of the inspiring writer Arthur Conan Doyle, and how he created the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, is brought to life for children by multi-award winning author Linda Bailey.

How is a writer made? How is a legend created? After a troubled childhood, Arthur's only comfort is using his extraordinary imagination to write fantastic stories. He creates Sherlock Holmes, a genius detective. At first his stories are rejected, but Arthur is persistent and eventually the public take notice. It isn't long until Sherlock Holmes makes Arthur one of the most famous authors in the world - but what happens when Arthur tries to kill off his hero?

Mary Doyle entertains young Arthur and his sister.
Text (c) Linda Bailey, 2022; Illustration (c) Isabelle Follath, 2022

Biography of Linda Bailey

Linda Bailey is the author of almost forty books for children, including novels, picture books and non-fiction. A few years ago, she wrote a picture-book biography about Mary Shelley called Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, which received multiple international awards including the Information Book Award of the U.K. School Library Association. Thus encouraged, for her next picture-book biography for children, she turned to another fascinating literary subject, well-known to the listeners of this podcast — Arthur Conan Doyle. For most of a year, Linda spent her days in close company with Arthur (preferring to use his first name, as would her child readers), learning about his life, his work and his passions. Her appreciation and her admiration for Arthur Conan Doyle grew by the day, and she was delighted to write the book, Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock, published in 2023 in Britain by Andersen Press, and in US/Canada by Tundra Books at Penguin Random House. Linda lives in Vancouver, Canada.


  • Princesses versus Dinosaurs (2023 – Coming Soon)
  • Carson Crosses Canada (2020)
  • Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein (2018)
  • When Santa Was a Baby (2017)
  • If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur (2017)
  • If Kids Ruled the World (2014)
  • Toads on Toast (2012)

Biography of Isabelle Follath

Isabelle grew up doodling on every surface available, a habit that she still hasn’t managed to put down. She illustrated her first book (on artificial intelligence written by her Professor) while studying philosophy and computer science at the University of Zurich. Encouraged by this experience, she decided to take the plunge and become a freelance illustrator. She hasn’t looked back since. Having worked for advertising companies and magazines for many years, she has found that her true passion lies in illustrating children’s books. She creates art for picture books and middle-grade novels, doing what she loves most; drawing characters, dreaming up whimsical surroundings and drinking an alarming amount of coffee. She uses watercolor, ink and colored pencils to create her work and has a penchant for color and mid-century pattern and textile design. Isabelle lives in Zurich, Switzerland with her family.


  • The Beast and the Bethany: Battle of the Beast (2022)
  • What Are Little Girls Made of? Nursery Rhymes for Feminist Times (2020)
  • Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under The Piano (2020)
  • The Incredible Hotel (2020)
  • Joy (2018)

Next time on Doings of Doyle

We take a trip to the clouds in ‘The Horror of the Heights’ (1913). You can read the story here: https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php/The_Horror_of_the_Heights