The Crime Readers' Association

Birch F.E.

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F.E. Birch aka Effie Merryl is an ex-cop from the North-East of England. She’s lived in London and Scotland and often inside her head. She is a prolific short story writer with a trail of pseudonyms and publications behind her.

She won the first Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect competition in 2012 with the premise for her debut novel, She’s Not There. Life became messy but ever-tenacious, it’s now here, first published 21st February 2023 by Red Dragon Publishing. Republished by Wire Books 17th January 2024.

Her second novel, Maman, is due for release by Wire Books on 20th April 2024.

She has self published two short story anthologies, full of previous competition winners and/or previously published stories – Bowl of Cherries and Rather Like Marzipan.

A businesswoman with a bendy EDS body, GSOH, and a tad clumsy, she wears many hats and loves wigs. Her friends call her Effie. With a penchant for dark, deep and disturbing, her crimes are rarely cosy.

She has written Confessions of an Undercover Cop as Ash Cameron published by Harper Collins (2013)

Other Awards

Pitch Perfect Winner, Bloody Scotland, 2012

for the pitch of She’s Not There published March 2023.

Books by Birch F.E.

  • Confessions of an Undercover Cop Confessions of an Undercover Cop
  • Maman Maman


  • She’s Not There She’s Not There


  • Bowl of Cherries Bowl of Cherries


  • Rather Like Marzipan Rather Like Marzipan

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