Breaking news! Ms Birdsong is out of retirement.

Colette, thanks so much for allowing Ms. Birdsong to grace your wonderful blog telling us about her life and work within MI5 – the British Security Services.

Ms. Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka, is with publishers now and is the first in a series featuring the former MI5 Intelligence Officer.

The famous Russian Matryoshka dolls which, like Ms B’s investigation involves removing layers to get to the centre of things.

I hope your readers enjoy her interview with an Oxford Newspaper.

Interviewer: Tell us about yourself.

Ms. Birdsong: As a member of MI5, I’ve held a variety of posts since joining 20 years ago from University. I speak five languages and am proficient in martial arts and use of a variety of firearms and weapons. I’ve worked my way up through the service until I was forced into ‘voluntary’ retirement; we won’t go there! I had my eye on the post of Director General — only two women have been DG in the past — and I shall get back into the service, make no mistake.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about some of your operations as an Intelligence Officer?

Ms. B: Not really, I’m subject to the Official Secrets Act.

Interviewer: But the Security Service has been incredibly open in recent years — we know more about their work now, surely you can tell us something…

Ms. B: Our work is varied, protecting the UK from threats from terrorism, espionage, and outside forces who would do our country harm. My roles were within this remit.

Interviewer: You have had several roles? Care to elaborate?

Ms. B: That would be difficult, but I can answer generally. I’ve had wide experience within MI5. I’ve worked on counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, organised crime — before 2006 when we handed that over to the National Crime Agency — I was seconded to the Metropolitan Police. I’ve been an Agent Runner in Northern Ireland and Moscow, and most recently I’d been seconded to MI6 before my ‘retirement.’

Interviewer: An amazing career you’ve enjoyed, I’m sure you miss it. Can you tell us why you were ‘retired?’

M.B: No, but I can tell you this, I’m working on getting back into MI5, and nothing will stop me.

Interviewer: How do you intend doing that? Does the missing woman from Ampney Parva hold any clues? I gather you are helping her son to find her.

Ms. B: I have my ways. And yes, I’m helping her son. I have skills I’m able to use to investigate her disappearance. Of course, I’m not interfering with the police investigation, they have their own methods.

Interviewer: Does the missing woman, Ali Yelling, have MI5 connections? Is that why you are involved? Is she a suspected terrorist?

Ms. B: Absolutely not! She’s an ordinary young mother who has disappeared, and her son needed my help. Nothing more. I’ve time on my hands, it’s the least I can do.

Interviewer: Why come to rural Oxfordshire? Is there another reason for you being here? Something we don’t know about, yet? Are there terrorism connections? Are there spies here?

Ms. B: You ask a lot of questions and my answer is the same, no. I like the area, it’s quiet, it suits me. I want to write a novel at some stage, it gives me space. Nothing more. I shall try to get back into MI5, of course, it has been my life, but I assure you Ali Yelling has nothing to do with spies or terrorists — that is ridiculous.

Interviewer: They trained you well at MI5, you avoid answering by muddying the water with talk of helping find a missing woman and writing a book. It strikes me that is a great cover story for someone who has lived her life in the shadows. I’ve been told you usually have an alias – is that true? Who are you really? Ms. Birdsong, or someone else?

Ms. B: This interview is over; it’s been a pleasure talking with you but now you are becoming ridiculous. I’m who I say I am, and I’m here for the reasons given. Now I must go and help find Ali Yelling. Thanks, so much.

For more information about my next novel, Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka, visit her Facebook Group:

You can find more about me and my books at:

My website:

My Facebook Page:


Jane Risdon is the co-author of ‘Only One Woman,’ with Christina Jones (Headline Accent) and ‘Undercover: Crime Shorts,’ (Plaisted Publishing), as well as having many short stories published in numerous anthologies and writing for several online and print magazines such as Writing Magazine and The Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine.

Undercover: Crime Shorts was the February 2020 Free Book of the Month on the virtual library and festival site,, and her live video interview features in their theatre. She is a regular guest on international internet radio shows such as, and The Brian Hammer Jackson Radio Show.

Before turning her hand to writing Jane worked in the International Music Business alongside her musician husband, working with musicians, singer/songwriters, and record producers.  They also facilitated the placement of music in movies and television series. 

Huge congratulations to Jane because in 2020 she signed with Langton’s International Literary Agency in New York and here’s the moment that she signed the contract.

Good luck placing the book Jane and thanks to Ms Birdsong for stopping by.

6 thoughts on “Breaking news! Ms Birdsong is out of retirement.

  1. Reblogged this on Jane Risdon and commented:
    MI5 officers don’t often give interviews but now that Lavinia Birdsong is retired (but not for long) she has agreed to be interviewed by an Oxford Newspaper. Colette McCormick shares the interview here.


  2. Colette, thanks so much for sharing Ms. Birdsong’s interview with an Oxford Newspaper on your fab blog. As you know, MI5 is usually silent when it comes to giving interviews, perhaps allowing the odd one from the Director-General. But, Lavinia is now retired and she agreed because she wants to highlight the disappearance of Ali Yelling. Lavinia has every intention of finding her way back into the MI5 family and she sees her investigation into Ali’s disappearance as a good opportunity – find out in Ms. Birdsong Investigates, if she succeeds – when it is published that is! I had fun doing this, I hope your readers enjoy it too. Thanks. Jane xx

    Liked by 1 person

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