If you’re like me and you suddenly feel the need to live in another country, but you can’t afford the plane ticket, the passport, or have the unique skills required to emigrate, Brokenwood Mysteries may be the perfect escape for you.
Set in New Zealand, Brokenwood hits all the necessary check marks to qualify it as a cozy murder mystery. Billed as the New Zealand Midsomer Murders, it actually does something that Midsomer hasn’t done of late: It is to allows the viewer to solve the crime.
As you’re watching, a lot of the clues are things the viewer will see before the detective. If you get a special kick out of seeing whether your theory was the correct one, Brokenwood will provide that fix.
The dialect and accent may be a bit strong for some viewers. There’s no learning curve, really, you just have to be able to listen and maybe hit the rewind button once or twice to make sure you’re not missing anything.
A strong female detective helps to solve the crimes without falling in love with the male characters. A country music soundtrack provides much of the background noise. And the investigations are believable, without any evidence of the ever present “Sherlock Scan” that pervades a lot of contemporary mystery series.
If you’re looking for something new to fill in the gaps between Midsomer Murders and George Gently, consider checking out The Brokenwood Mysteries.