HE'S A COP
You might already have assumed this, from the fact that he solves mysteries and has a "DI" in front of his name. But people often need to be reminded that Mike is indeed an officer of the law. Mainly because he comes across like the shambling oddball you'd expect to find propping up a bar. Not that he's booze-sodden, mind you. He just looks like he should be. And even his future partner Kristin originally thinks he's a strange, suspicious weirdo. Easy mistake to make.
HE TALKS TO THE DEAD
We don't mean that in a metaphorical or spiritual way. He doesn't commune with the celestial plain, or conduct Ouija meetings in police headquarters. No, what we mean is that Mike Shepherd likes to literally sit down and have a natter with the corpse at a crime scene, while other officers stand around feeling incredibly awkward. Example chit-chat, to a man found drowned in a vat of wine. "Hey Paul! Looking a little on the pink side." It probably helps him piece together clues, right?
HE LOVES COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC
To clarify: Mike doesn't just love country and western music. He is downright fanatical about the stuff, to the point where he inflicts it on anybody foolish enough to get within earshot. As he says, it's the perfect soundtrack for solving crimes, because it's about "heartache, adultery, jealousy, divorce and death." His passion is certainly genuine, and nothing at all to do with the fact it's a genre that really winds other people up. Although that's probably an added bonus.
HE'S A CITY BOY
Don't be fooled by appearances. Mike Shepherd may look a bit like a hick who's recently swapped denim dungarees for a crumpled suit, but he's not a country boy at all. Mike hails from the big city, and has an impressive, high-flying police career behind him. It just so happens that he fancies trading all that in for a new life in Brokenwood, because he just... likes it there. He's an impulsive man, is Mike.
HE LIKES HIS WINE
Could Brokenwood's vineyards be the reason he decides to settle here? While he may not look or sound or act like your typical wine buff, Mike has a real appreciation of vino, and has been known to stick his nose in a few glasses in his time. Indeed, one sarcastic suspect dubs him "Detective Merlot". Cheeky.
HE CAN BE INAPPROPRIATE
And by "can be", we mean "is always". It's not that Mike is a motormouth. He thinks as much as he talks. It's just that he talks without thinking. Especially at crime scenes, when a measure of tact is usually required. On seeing a corpse dredged up by fishermen, his first response was "Hell of a catch. Probably the one they wish had got away." Then, glancing around at everyone staring at him, "Too soon?"
HE'S BEEN MARRIED, A LOT
Mike Shepherd may lack social graces, and he's nobody idea of suave, but the man clearly has a way with women, when you consider how often he's been married. How many times exactly? That's the biggest mystery of all - we just know there have been more than a few Mrs Shepherds over the years, and they all probably have stories to tell. One of them is even a member of the Brokenwood police force, so expect plenty of embarrassing revelations from her. Sorry, Mike.