Stateside fans of The Brokenwood Mysteries, rejoice! The brand new season of this brilliant mystery series from New Zealand has started streaming in the US.

Brokenwood Mysteries S6
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Neill Rea as DSS Mike Shepherd — Photo courtesy of Acorn TV

One of the best mystery-solving detective trios on telly is back!

Yes, I’m talking about Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea, Go Girls), Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland, The Almighty Johnsons), and Detective Constable Sam Breen (Nic Sampson, Step Dave), who have their work cut out for them in Series 6 of The Brokenwood Mysteries.

The town of Brokenwood might be small, but its residents get up to big things — including murder.

In the Series 6 opener, titled “The Power of Steam,” members of the Brokenwood Aeronauts group, dressed in their steampunk finery, are attending a festive gathering where plans for the first-ever Brokenwood Steampunk Festival are announced. Between this crowd-pleasing news, the Victorian costumes and sci-fi escapism, not to mention the fireworks, a fun time is had by all. Well, nearly. The exception would be the man who dies a rather ghastly death from an explosion. Meanwhile, Mike plays dog-sitter.

“The Page Turner” finds famous crime author Jack Rudd (Matt Whelan, Go Girls) giving a reading from his latest novel to members of the Brokenwood book club at the town’s book shop. Attending the event are Sims, local Renaissance man Jared Morehu (Pana Hema Taylor, Westside), town gossip Mrs. Marlowe (Elizabeth McRae, Shortland Street), Reverend Greene (Roy Ward, Outrageous Fortune), and one of Mike’s ex-wives (!), amongst others — many of whom become murder suspects when Rudd is found dead, killed in the same manner as in his book.

It’s the first day of duck hunting season at the start of “Dead Men Don’t Shoot Ducks,” and Jared, the hapless Frodo (Karl Willetts, Outrageous Fortune), and other members of the Duck Stalkers Club are waiting in the dense fog for the season’s official start time. Just as their watches show 07:00, the ducks start flying and the guns start firing — and an animal activist trying to protect the ducks goes down, killed by shotgun pellets. It looks like her death was a tragic accident, but after Medical Examiner Gina Kadinsky (Cristina Serban Ionda, Filthy Rich) gives Mike and co some critical information, the investigation becomes a homicide case. It won’t be the only one, either.

And in “Dead and Buried,” an inmate at the Brokenwood Women’s Prison is found dead, apparently from suicide. Amongst those who Mike, Sims, and Breen interrogate are a few of the convicted criminals they put behind bars — including Rayleen Hogg (Yvette Parsons, What We Do in the Shadows), Trudy Neilson (Tracy Lee Gray, Westside), and Brenda White (Amanda Billing, Shortland Street). After suicide is disproved, the detectives must determine who amongst the prison staff and inmate population did the dirty deed. As they conduct the investigation, Mike gets new information about a separate, years-old mystery…

I gotta say, this season is the best in the series (at least so far, fingers crossed for more seasons) cos…

… All of the episodes are exquisitely intricate and intriguing whodunits, and the writers deserve a ton of credit for crafting them — from the primary storylines, to the nail-biting part of one particular episode, to the mystery-within-a-mystery in another episode.

… Quite a number of actors (in addition to those mentioned above) reprise their recurring and guest roles from previous seasons — details of which could make for a fun, Brokenwood-specific pub trivia night.

… It’s grand to finally meet another of Mike’s ex-wives. (Ooh, the makings of another trivia question!)

… And last but not least, the country music tunes are mighty fine.

The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 6 premieres in the US today, Monday, January 6, with the feature-length “The Power of Steam,” exclusively on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon.

New episodes begin streaming on Monday, January 13, 20, and 27.


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The Brokenwood Mysteries: New Season of Clever Kiwi Mystery Series Premieres in the US