The Brokenwood Mystery Series

The Brokenwood Mystery Series poster (2014) from

The Brokenwood Mystery Series poster (2014) from


I recently found a new mystery series I was not familiar with at the library.  It is called Brokenwood and is set in New Zealand.  The star is Neill Rea as Detective Sargent Inspector Mike Shepard who arrives from an unnamed city to Brokenwood to solve a flagged case.

However, The local officers on the scene doubt their case is a homicide. They believe local drunk Nate Dunn was so inebriated he accidentally fell off a bridge to his death.  Shepard doesn’t agree with their assessment and process as if the case were a homicide while waiting for the medical examiner’s determination of death.  She proves Shepard’s guess of homicide as correct but what he didn’t account on is solving a second murder from the previous decade that of Nate Dunn’s wife Evelyn.

By the end of the pilot episode of Brokenwood, I knew I would keep watching the first season on DVD.  Why?  First it is a mystery/criminal series that does not steep itself in the morbid nor does it weight down the main character with the typical police officer baggage.  Instead Brokenwood‘s characters are well rounded and appear reasonably happy.

The only quirk with Shepard is he likes country music whereas others are put off by his taste in music and by the car he owns and insists is a classic.  Another character Jared Morehu is a bit of a jack of all trades and appears to be someone Shepard will become friends with and rely on  for future cases.

Further, I like the series for its low key and amusing moments. And finally for the fact that the title character, Shepard, who could have left Brokenwood for home, decides not only to stay but also buys a vineyard  that belonged to another officer in Brokenwood.

I would recommend Brokenwood to anyone looking for something refreshing and against the norm.