The BEST Episodes of The Brokenwood Mysteries
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Apr 3, 2021
Network: Prime (NZ)
The Brokenwood Mysteries comprises four two-hour murder mystery stories set in a seemingly quiet country town where the town's newest resident, Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd, finds that murder lurks in even the most homely location.
#1 - Dead Men Don't Shoot Ducks
Season 6 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 24, 2019
The members of the Brokenwood Duck Stalking Association are set to shoot on the first day of the new season. Fingers are ready on the trigger as the eight hunters wait patiently for ducks to fly. But then the misty morning presents an unusual sight as a lone wildlife protester sails into the duck shooting cove. Ducks fly, shots are fired but only the protester, Leslie Garrett, falls down dead. With nobody prepared to take the blame Mike and the team are led to believe Leslie was shot by a mysterious ninth hunter seen briefly through the mist. Unable to determine who it was, Mike is forced to think more laterally than usual. Was Leslie's death just a case of careless use of a firearm or were the ducks never the target in the first place?
#2 - A Real Page Turner
Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 17, 2019
World-renowned crime-writing author Jack Rudd visits Brokenwood to give a reading at the local book club from his latest novel ‘Knife in the Back'. He visits — but never leaves, falling victim to a method of murder portrayed in his own book.
#3 - The Power of Steam
Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 10, 2019
After a murder at the Brokenwood Steampunk event, Mike and his team are thrown into a world of dress-up and escapism where the suspects all have alter-egos.
#4 - Dead and Buried
Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 1, 2019
A suspicious suicide in Brokenwood Women's Prison leads Mike and the team to uncover a complex murder. And for Mike this one is personal — he knew the victim Corina Doyle from his days prior to Brokenwood. As Mike and the team investigate they're brought into contact with several familiar female convicts from the past: Trudy Neilson, Brenda White and Rayleen Hogg. They're all doing their time and all up to no good. And with Corina's passing new information surfaces about an old crime. A secret from her past that will answer a nagging question that Mike has carried for 8 years. However, for that secret to come out, Corina had to entrust it with someone and that someone wants Mike to do a deal.
#5 - Bride Not To Be
Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 4, 2018
The Cream Boat is a charming vessel that chugs its way up the scenic Brokenwood waterways. It carries sightseers and Christmas parties and often Hen Parties. Professional tennis player, Ophelia (Fee) Marley, is one such lucky Hen. Her Bridesmaids have organized a big day migrating from the township via the Cream Boat to the Tidal View Lodge where they overnight. The following morning the Cream Boat returns to pick up the girls, but as the captain is about to dock a macabre and ethereal sight greets him. Fee is floating semi-submerged downstream in her wedding dress and veil. At first it may seem a tragic drowning; a result perhaps of too much revelry. But Gina reveals she was in fact dead before she entered the river. Where was Fee’s fiancé the night of the murder? And why is Best Man Darryn so reluctant to co-operate? Is he covering for his mate or is it something else entirely? Darryn’s reticence is partially explained by the fact that he is deaf. Kristin’s knowledge of ‘sign’ comes in handy as the team works to solve this mystery.
#6 - The Scarecrow
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 12, 2017
Philip Henderson stands next to an impressive scarecrow amidst a field of damaged vegetation. His whole crop has failed. The scarecrow may have kept the birds away but this catastrophe is something bigger. Angered and distraught, he confronts his neighbour, the cantankerous Doug Randall, and accuses him of spray drift. Doug is having none of it and an ugly altercation ensues. The following day Philip is discovered dead in his field – the victim of an obscure poison. Suspicion falls on Doug and his new wife, the strident and doggedly loyal Trudy Neilson, whom it was well known had ongoing tensions with Philip over an unpaid bar tab at her pub, The Toad and Lion. But as Mike and the team dig further into the mystery, more suspects come into play. Philip’s other neighbour is the cagey Tamati Taylor, who is less than forthcoming, but as it transpires Philip had a twin brother. Why does he seem remarkably unmoved by the death of his sibling? Following a hunch, Kristin turns attention to the little organic café in town called the Sage Locust and her friend, the owner Dahlia Freyberg. Philip was one of her suppliers – but a supplier of what? And what exactly was in the salad Philip ate when he last visited the Sage Locust? And if the scarecrow was meant to frighten the birds why have all the bees disappeared too?
#7 - The Garotte and the Vinklebraun
Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 29, 2021
Mike and his team are thrust into a world of antiquities when a TV crew from the hit series All Things Old and Beautiful comes to town, and one of the hosts is murdered.
#8 - Over Her Dead Body
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 6, 2016
Brokenwood is in mourning as beloved local poet Declan O’Grady is being farewelled at St Judas Church after being struck down by cancer. But things go from bad to worse when his coffin accidentally falls from the hearse revealing that the corpse inside is not Declan but a young woman identifiable only by a notable scarlet tattoo.
#9 - A Merry Bloody Christmas
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 20, 2016
With December approaching Brokenwood is alive and well with Christmas spirit. That is until a gruesome sight confronts Mike and his team; Santa Claus with his throat slit. Or as Mike insists – ‘not Santa, but a man dressed in a Santa suit’. The man is in fact the much-loved local Mayor, Evan Whitestone, who dresses as Santa every year for the Christmas parade. But with local elections looming, attention turns to his four rivals for the mayoral chains. Each of them has an axe to grind with Evan or, in this case - a cut throat razor.
#10 - As If Nothing Had Happened
Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 19, 2017
Sunset Manor is a rest home in Brokenwood for the aged and bewildered. The new resident is Edward Alderston. Having recently lost his wife, his family has decided Sunset Manor is the best place for him, especially now that the Alzheimer’s is taking hold. Mrs Marlowe is a regular visitor, offering sing-alongs at the piano for the residents. But Edward is hoping for more of an ally than that. He’s planning an escape. In fact he’s been practicing. The only problem is he can’t remember the plan. But when a man is found with a Samurai sword through his back floating in his swimming pool in the neighbouring street, Edward’s exact whereabouts becomes of real importance. The man was Mitch Waterson, an ex-finance company high-flyer, responsible for the loss of many millions to many people – in particular, he is the one responsible for many elderly losing their life savings. Mitch was responsible but never held accountable. It would seem now that the accountability has been sought. Revenge has been exacted. So when Mike, Kristin and Breen begin searching for motive they need look no further than Sunset Manor. Many of the residents were victims to Mitch Waterson’s Ponzi schemes and are thrilled to know he’s met a grisly end. However, the problem is not only who might have had the gumption and opportunity to do it but– can they remember doing it?
#11 - Stone Cold Dead
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 5, 2017
Charity Highmore-Browne is the owner and curator of Brokenwood's Historic Village. A stickler for all things Victorian, Charity lives in a time warp. Her sudden death by an arrow brings Mike and his team into the realm of New Zealand's colonial past as they deal with a blacksmith, a missionary and the local postmaster. Not to be overlooked is Charity's sister who once represented the country at the Olympics, missing out on a bronze medal in archery. As the investigation brings up questions about Charity's lifestyle and the mysterious disappearance of her husband seven years earlier, the team are faced with the possibility that Brokenwood is dealing with its first serial killer. Things are complicated further when Mike is forced out of the office due to a health scare and Kristin takes charge of the case. But can Mike truly hand over the reins?
#12 - Playing the Lie
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 12, 2014
A group of erstwhile members of the Brokenwood Golf Club, committee members no less, have gathered for their regular Wednesday morning round. They are playing their approaches to the first green when a zombie-like figure lurches from the early-morning gloom, coming towards them. It takes the golfers a moment or two (apparently) to realise this is actually Adele Stone, the Club owner - her face red and blistering; gasping desperately for breath. Then she falls from sight, into a greenside bunker. By the time the guys get to her, Ms Stone is very much dead. And so Mike and Kristin are called to investigate what appears to be homicide by poisoning.
#13 - The Killing Machine
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 13, 2016
The annual Riverstone Beach Hop is a colorful festival that brings classic car enthusiasts together from far and wide to celebrate everything petrol powered and chrome plated. But on the morning of the event Charlie Baxter, the Chairman of the Classic Car Restoration Society, is found dead next to his beloved El Dorado with a lungful of gasoline. Was this a petrol siphoning accident or something more deliberate? And does it have anything to do with the unidentified dead body found in Charlie’s garage the day before?
#14 - Leather & Lace
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 27, 2015
The Brokenwood Cheetahs are a local rugby team of legendary status. Their losing streak of 50 straight games has broken national records. So when their hapless coach, Arnie Langstone, is found dead - stripped naked and strapped to a goalpost - some think it might be blessing in disguise – perhaps now they might start winning again. But amidst this DSS Mike Shepherd is perplexed by several other issues. Firstly, why was a pair of women’s underwear stuffed down Arnie’s throat? And what do the neatly embroidered initials ‘G.G.’ signify? But then a second body is discovered and Mike and his team are stretched to the limit. Is this the work of a serial killer or merely a puzzling co-incidence?
#15 - Hunting the Stag
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 19, 2014
Four close friends go hunting in the bush on a stag trip. But the groom-to-be never comes back – he was shot through the head. Initially this would seem to be just another tragic hunting accident amidst picturesque New Zealand bush. The only problem is none of the remaining three friends own up to pulling the trigger that fired the lethal bullet - yet all three had discharged their rifles – with no deer to prove it. The question is – who shot Hayden Renner? Was he mistaken for a real stag or was there something more sinister at play?
#16 - Sour Grapes
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 5, 2014
With Brokenwood touted for its burgeoning merlot, the annual wine show is a major event. Having bought a 10-acre block with maturing grapes, no one is looking forward to it more than DI Mike Shepherd. But when a guest judge and wine critic is found dead, drowned inside a fermenting vat, the show takes second place to the murder investigation.
#17 - The Black Widower
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 30, 2016
The Frog and Cheetah’s publican, Ray Neilson, has branched into tourism with his ‘Lord of the Ringz Tours’ tailored to non-English speaking tourists. But when Ray’s wife Debbie is discovered dead under a giant foam spider in a supposed film location of Mirklewood things get ‘mirky’. Especially when Debbie’s cause of death is revealed to be from New Zealand’s only native venomous spider – the Katipo. But if it was, how did one spider administer ten times the lethal dose?
#18 - The Dark Angel
Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 18, 2018
On the edge of Brokenwood sits an abandoned mental health facility, an asylum named Brokenwood Downes. Now derelict, the spooky buildings provide a great hideout for local teenagers. But one young couple freak-out when they stumble upon the body of an elderly man in the old hospital wing strapped to a gurney with electrodes connected to his temples. It would seem he was the victim of electrocution by Electroconvulsive Therapy. The victim is Jakob Deschler who used to be the Superintendent of the asylum when it closed in 2011. Recently released from jail for charges of torture it appears that his murder was a revenge for his past cruelty. Mike and the team focus on a group of ex-patients of Brokenwood Downes. The few that have remained in the area are an eclectic bunch of misfits still struggling to reintegrate into the mainstream of society. However, several of them are under the care of local psychotherapist, Amy Curnow whose expertise enables Mike to get a greater insight into the minds of these unique characters. She is also has a knack to get Mike to open up about some more personal things about himself. Could it be that our hero is taking a shine to Amy? Mike’s interrogation skills will be pitted against the smarts of a crack psychologist. Will it be a case of Mike finally meeting his match – in more ways than one
#19 - Catch of the Day
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 11, 2015
The bucolic coastal waters off Brokenwood support a thriving fishing industry. But when Jared discovers a severed human hand in a crayfish pot it appears to be harbouring something far more sinister. Who does the hand belong to and are they still alive?
#20 - Fall From Grace
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 29, 2017
When Kristin, Breen, and Gina celebrate Mike’s birthday with a picnic in Brokenwood Domain, they are witness to a fatal skydiving accident. To make matters worse, Kristin knows the victim – entrepreneur Andre Barrington, an ex-boyfriend who moved onto another woman – Grace Turner, an adrenalin junkie and fellow skydiver. As the investigation unfolds, an unsettling truth is revealed. Andre’s parachute was never going to open as the cords were severed. Was it an elaborate suicide or was Grace having second thoughts about Andre? Then again – Andre’s older brother Felix was tired of living in his shadow, and his mother Lorraine’s maternal love verged on the side of sinister. Both of them were jumping with Andre too. And what about Andre’s business partner Dean Young, who was less than impressed by Andre’s work ethic? Mike and his team are forced to confront the old adage: ‘what goes up must come down’ – but not always in the way you want.
#21 - Blood and Water
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 28, 2014
When two fishermen find the body of a local farmer in the river, Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd is sent to the small rural town of Brokenwood to investigate the death. Is this the suicide of a man guilty of his own wife’s murder or is he the victim of foul play? As Mike uncovers a family’s tragedies and secrets he also learns that Brokenwood is a place where shadows lurk just beneath the surface.
#22 - Blood Pink
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 18, 2015
Holly Collins is not only DSS Mike Shepherd's favourite country musician she's also playing in Brokenwood. Unfortunately it turns out to be her final gig. When she is found electrocuted it appears to be a rock'n'roll suicide. But then again it could have been a drunken accident - or, as Mike suspects, it is perhaps something less obvious. With a careless note scrawled in lipstick the only clue, Mike has to set aside his personal interest in the victim and strike the right note with Holly's dysfunctional band members: Slim Fingers, Waylon Strings and Jesse James. But the more he finds out, the more he needs to know and the less he likes what he learns.
#23 - Tontine
Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 11, 2018
Cycling is very de rigour around the globe and no less in Brokenwood. When one such MAMIL (Middle Aged Man In Lycra) Lester Nyman reaches the top of a local mountain after a gruelling ride and suffers a massive coronary it doesn’t seem suspicious. But then Gina reveals his toxicology showed astronomical levels of caffeine in his system and Mike starts to look more closely. It transpires Lester was one of ten people inheriting shares in a substantial local farm. The will, left by Lester’s father Karl, is legally known as a Tontine. Curiously four members of this Tontine have recently died from natural causes or unfortunate accidents and as such their shares are absorbed by the remaining members. Lester’s brother Trevor is helpful in their enquiries but not so much his lawyer Madison Mathers. She sees her professional responsibility to execute the will to the best of her ability making sure everyone gets their fair share. And why is Reverend Greene part of the tontine? It was no secret Karl didn’t believe in the church. Was it simply that he wanted to goad the good Reverend into putting capitalist values above his service to the Lord? The further Mike and his team delve it appears this was all a grand and malevolent plan by Karl Nyman to let his friends and family tear themselves apart in a feeding frenzy of greed and avarice.
#24 - To Die Or Not To Die
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 4, 2015
When a young cast member of The Brokenwood Theatre Society collapses and dies at the end of a performance of Hamlet, the initial belief is that it was from natural causes. However, Mike detects there is ‘something rotten in the state of Brokenwood’ when he gets a whiff of a lethal poison. In doing so he uncovers a complex web of ego driven dissention amongst the troupe. Was Ben Faulkner expended to create opportunity for another young rising star? Or can his death be linked to the words of the Bard himself? And how did Jared end up playing the lead role? As Mike and his team investigate the hidden secrets of this curious group of thespians ‘To be or not to be’ takes on a whole new meaning.
#25 - Scared To Death
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 28, 2018
It’s the annual Brokenwood A&P show. Time for that special kind of Kiwi carnival. Amidst the shearing displays, the ‘Calf Day’ competition and wood chopping, is the usual assortment of fun rides and fairground attractions. The sun is shining on happy family entertainment and ever popular this year is the shonky old Ghost Train. But when the surly A&P boss Harold Wilbury takes the minute-long ride as a safety check he gets the fright of his life. Shunted in his carriage through the final curtain, Harold greets daylight wide- eyed and dead. He is quite literally gone in 60 seconds. When a man dies of fright surely there is no question of murder - it’s just a case of bad luck. Then again how scary was the Ghost Train ride really? Curiously, Madame Magdalena in the Fortune Teller’s tent predicted the tragedy. Was that co- incidence or a way of adding credence to her credibility? The Ghost Train operator, Johnny Oades swears it’s nothing to do with him, but there is a question over falsified Health and Safety checks. And why is Daisy Rose the fairy princess so unhappy?