Who doesn’t love a good mystery? If you’re obsessed with murder mysteries, crime dramas, and detective stories like me, or if you’re just looking for your next series to binge-watch, try some of my favorite British mysteries listed below, most of which you can check out at the Library! While not all of them may be your cup of tea (get it? tea?), there’s something for everyone!
Clever & Unique Stories
We’ll start with my personal favorites. These series are wonderfully written and wickedly smart and will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to work out the characters and crimes. Bonus points to those who can figure out the twists and turns before the end!
- The game is on! This version of Sherlock Holmes is unique to the rest, taking place in modern-day London with Sherlock, the frequently texting, self-proclaimed high-functioning sociopath, and John, the level-headed assisting crime blogger. It’s a fun watch with plenty of wit and humor!
- Killing Eve
- International espionage, deadly assassins, intelligence agencies, and a true arch-nemesis story. In an intense mind game that extends around the world, Eve, the security agent, hunts down the unhinged but eccentric hitwoman named Villanelle.
- Criminal UK (Available only on Netflix)
- What makes this series interesting is that every episode takes place entirely in an interrogation room (and technically the hallway just outside the room). As investigators question suspects, your gears will start turning as you try to figure out if the suspect is guilty. With so many plot twists and slight clues, it’s no wonder you’ll never get bored when watching this one-room show.
The Tortured Detective
Sometimes the character working the mystery is more interesting than the mystery itself. Typically a loner and dealing with dark secrets of their own, these detectives solve grisly crimes, not for the faint of heart.
- River (Available only on Netflix)
- Detective John River, played by Stellan Skarsgard, investigates the dark crimes of London while being haunted by the cases of his past.
- The rugged Detective Inspector John Luther, played by Idris Elba, hunts down murderers while trying to keep his own demons at bay.
- Happy Valley
- Though not technically a detective, Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood, played by Sarah Lancashire, tries her best to protect her community while tracking down the man she blames for her daughter’s death. This series is an intense story with a fantastic cast.
Mysteries with Stunning Views
This may seem to be an odd category for mysteries but do not take a series’ scenery for granted! These shows have amazing casts and top-notch writing but the views take center stage. As strange as it sounds, the settings almost become characters themselves as they are extremely important to each storyline.
- Taking place on the Shetland Islands, an archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland, Detective Inspector Perez solves a variety of cases with a consistently wondrous view in the background. Although the series is a crime drama there is something quite soothing about it.
- Detective Inspector Alec Hardy finds himself in the beautiful seaside town of Broadchurch investigating the death of a young boy. This series has an all-star cast as well, including David Tennant (Doctor Who, Good Omens) playing Hardy and Olivia Colman (The Crown, The Favourite) playing Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller.
These curious but delightful mysteries are perfect for viewers looking to keep their shows light and humorous. I won’t bother to describe each one because, to be quite honest, they all have very similar qualities; small town, a shocking murder, local detective or community member solves the crime and repeat. Completely formulaic but undoubtedly comforting! And don’t worry, you won’t be running out of episodes anytime soon. Midsomer Mysteries alone has over 100 and Father Brown has over 90!
Written by Emily Sexton
Public Relations Specialist
Very helpful list, Emily, I so miss Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis. Sharon