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We can't fully explain why, but there's something so addicting about watching crime drama shows and mystery-thriller movies. (Don't even get us started on the best Agatha Christie movies!) The way that they raise our blood-pressure should be studied—even though we know that what we're watching isn't necessarily real... or happening right now. While we're on the subject, we thought we'd open the can of worms that is the best detective shows! There are so many out there that satisfy our crime-watching urges, so we listed the best ones available to watch now.
Whether you like acclaimed British mysteries like Sherlock and Broadchurch or police procedurals like Law & Order: SVU and True Detective (which has a new season starring Jodie Foster!), there are plenty of gripping detective shows to choose from on this list. If you enjoy a good mystery try Killing Eve or The Fall for two very suspenseful, action-packed games of cat and mouse. And if you're into true crime podcasts like Ree Drummond, then Mindhunter on Netflix is a must-watch. It follows two FBI agents in the '70s who discover more about the psychology of real-life serial killers by studying them—sometimes a little too closely. So are you ready to find your next favorite detective show? Grab your evidence bag and get to it!
True Detective: Night Country
Season 4 of True Detective sees Jodie Foster and Kali Reis star as two detectives who share a mysterious past. The two are partnered together to work on a daunting case: The disappearance of 8 scholars who were last seen working on a research project in the cold terrains of Alaska. Will the two masterminds be able to sort out their differences so that they can focus on finding the missing piece to the puzzle?
Murder, She Wrote
Nothing, and we mean nothing, gets past Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury). Don't let her sweet persona fool you—her talent for writing mysteries proves that she's witty enough to get to the bottom of just about anything. (You wouldn't believe the situations she's been in!)
Baltimore just got a lot safer with this crew of detectives and law professionals! Watch as they investigate anything and everything—cracking cases that initially seemed totally unsolvable. We'd hate to be the villains in this storyline! 😬
Adrian Monk was officially diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it's exactly what makes him a star in the world of solving crimes. The police force heavily depends on his phobias and specific way of doing things—it usually leads them in the right direction!
The world wasn't quite ready for William Murdoch's innovative forensic techniques—because when he finally brought them to the table, things started changing at rapid speed. It seems that any unlawful act—no matter how inconspicuous—is getting figured out.
Join Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) as they face off against Professor Moriarty and a slew of other villains. This modern reimagining of the classic mystery novels is not to be missed!
This slow-burning British mystery series about two detectives investigating the murder of an 11-year-old boy will keep you guessing until the last episode. Over the course of three acclaimed seasons, Broadchurch set the new standard for police procedurals.
There's nothing "happy" about this award-winning series that centers on a strong-willed police sergeant seeking justice for her late daughter. But what it lacks in sunniness it makes up for in suspense, dark humor, and a spectacular performance from star Sarah Lancashire.
Midsomer Murders is considered one of the best detective television shows in history, and it's not hard to see why. With a talented cast, complex mysteries, and a cozy vibe, this show will keep you coming back season after season–and the best part is, there are 23 of them and counting!
This BBC show starring Idris Elba is full of shocking twists and turns. Don't be surprised if you end up watching the entire first season in one day!
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Dun, dun! Mariska Hargitay is the heroic Olivia Benson, who leads a squad of detectives taking on the most heinous criminals in New York City.
Based on the works of crime author Ann Cleeves, this show follows the obsessive Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope as she tries to crack some of the toughest cases in England's Northumberland county.
We'd all like to think that we're pretty good at observing things, but Shawn Spencer is the best at it. The way that his mind is able to understand things has led him to be a trusted ally to the police, who now consider him one of the best assets on their team!
Who says teens can't solve crime? In season one of Veronica Mars, our favorite teen detective shows she's got what it takes to crack a case that's very close to home: the murder of her best friend.
The Netflix original follows two FBI agents in the '70s who discover more about the psychology of serial killers by studying them—sometimes a little too closely.
Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is hot on the trail of serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). But will she be able to catch him before he takes more lives?
Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet's spellbinding performance (not to mention her mastery of the Philly accent) made this story about a troubled detective investigating the murder of a young woman in a small town must-watch TV.
Come to crack the criminal cases, stay for the Reagan family dinners made famous by Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, and the man, the myth, the mustache, Tom Selleck.
A ruthless assassin and a desk-bound MI5 security officer engage in a dangerous game of cat and mouse in this popular British spy thriller based on the Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
CSI had several stars throughout its 15-year run, including William Petersen, Laurence Fishburne, and Ted Danson.
Bill Pullman stars as Detective Harry Ambrose, who investigates a different grisly murder in each season of this anthology series. In season one, Ambrose must uncover the real reason why Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) stabbed a man to death.
LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch investigates the Dollmaker murders and other gruesome mysteries in this binge-worthy procedural.
Based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen, this atmospheric thriller follows murder investigations by homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman).
Kyle MacLachlan shines as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, who is trying to solve the mysterious death of teen homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the fictional small town of Twin Peaks, Washington.
We were crushed when Criminal Minds ended in 2020, but there’s no reason we can’t re-watch every hour with the BAU again, right?
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