Brokenwood S3E1

The Brokenwood Mysteries
Case 9 – The Black Widower

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?

Things don’t look good for Ray or the nearby arachnologist, Chandra Singh. But then as DSS Mike Shepherd and his team investigate other local tourism operators, they find none of them are particularly sad about Debbie’s demise. Her back room deals with the council have seen them banned from the coveted Brokenwood forest. Was her death karma or revenge? Regardless of motive it was definitely murder.


This feels like a very traditional murder mystery. The crime is committed at the beginning and the story quickly establishes a number of characters, all who have motivation and means to commit the murder. Then the detectives get on the case, and slowly reveal more clues and motives. Each time the potential suspect changes, until finally at the end the culprit is revealed.


Director: Mark Beesley
Producer: Sally Campbell

Cast: Mike NEILL REA
Kristin FERN SUTHERLAND
D.C Breen NIC SAMPSON
Jared PANA HEMA-TAYLOR
Gina CRISTINA IONDA
Ray Neilson JASON HOYTE
Debbie Neilson LARA MACGREGOR
Chandra Singh KALYANI NAGARAJAN
Dr Byron Cotter EMMETT SKILTON
Nigel GEOFF HOUTMAN
Billy DAN VEINT
Nicole KATIE WOLFE
Lance PHIL BROWN
Dennis SHANE CORTESE
Trudy TRACY LEE GRAY
Hans JULIAN WILSON
Chen CHARLES CHEN
Hughes COLIN MOY
Mrs Marlowe ELIZABETH MCRAE
Rev Greene ROY WARD
First aired: Sunday 30th of October 2016