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. The Brokenwood Mysteries don’t involve blood and gore. The deaths are generally off-screen or understated. Any forensic style police-work is usually off-screen or happening in the background but it’s Mike’s unorthodox methods that are upfront. Every death has an impact on him – if not emotionally – then thematically. As Mike pursues his dogged investigations, it’s like peeling the layers off an onion: clues are revealed, character’s aspects are opened up and Brokenwood’s secrets uncovered.