The Best Detective Shows On Netflix Right Now

best detective shows on netflix

Fox

If you’ve watched as many true crime documentaries as we have, you probably feel confident in your sleuthing skills, but the detectives on these shows (which are all currently streaming on Netflix) would still put us all to shame. Solving murders is their catnip. Catching bad guys is their idea of a good time. Hunting down clues, connecting the dots, uncovering conspiracies — they could do it all in their sleep. So go ahead, test your abilities to decode evidence and string together murder theories against them by watching the series on this list. Let us know how you measure up.

TV3

Jack Taylor

1 season, 9 episodes | IMDb: 7.8/10

Game of Thrones‘ Iain Glen sheds his Westerosi armor for this gritty Irish detective drama. Glen plays the titular Jack Taylor, a tough-as-nails ex-cop who’s earned quite a reputation for himself as a private investigator. Taylor’s been sacked from the force after assaulting a politician, so he takes up private eye work, investigating the cases the police won’t and solving them, albeit through less-than-legal means. Glen shines in the role, bringing a devil-may-care attitude to a man fighting his own demons to help others.

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PBS

Sherlock

4 seasons, 13 episodes | IMDb: 9.2/10

Sherlock is the best iteration of Sherlock Holmes ever to air on television. The British series from Steven Moffat stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and despite the fact that it has been updated, it brilliantly captures the same spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories. It’s fast-paced, engrossing, brilliantly acted, often very funny, and frequently tragic. Oh, and Cumberbatch’s chemistry with Freeman is off-the-charts.

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BBC

Broadchurch

3 seasons, 24 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10

A young boy is found dead in a seemingly idyllic small town, and the detectives charged with solving the case turn up twist after twist in tracking down the murderer. Despite its familiar premise (see also: Twin Peaks, The Killing), Broadchurch relies on its ensemble cast — specifically the impeccable David Tennant and Olivia Colman — to keep viewers caring after each red herring is tossed back into the ocean. The first series centers on the hunt for the killer while the second is on both the suspect’s trial and a reopened case from the past, but they both don’t let up in intrigue. A word of warning, though: This isn’t one of those TV dramas you should binge even if you want to. It gets heavy and emotionally exhausting, and unrestrained streaming kinda negates the effect of the show’s mysteries.

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BBC

The Fall

3 seasons, 17 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10

With a serial killer (Jamie Dornan) on the loose in Belfast, the authorities bring in a cold, calculating detective (Gillian Anderson) to put an end to the murders. The Fall presents a compelling, frightening look at an intelligent murderer without dumbing down the authorities on his trail, unlike other serial killer-themed shows out there. While the series gets slowed down by a few subplots in its third season, the performances of Dornan and Anderson are captivating, turning the series into an intense game of cat-and-cat. Anderson has even said this is her all-time favorite role, even over Dana Scully, with good reason.

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USA Network

The Sinner

1 season, 16 episodes | IMDb: 8/10

Jessica Biel stars as a woman with a dark past in this mystery series with Bill Pullman and Christopher Abbot. Biel plays Cora, a wife and mother who commits a horrific act of violence during a family beach trip for no apparent reason. It’s only once a detective (Pullman) begins looking into her life before the murder does he discover a conspiracy plot as tangled as it is gruesome.

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FOX

Lucifer

3 season, 57 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10

Any good detective knows the devil is in the details but Lucifer takes that quite literally. Tom Ellis stars as Satan himself, the keeper of the Underworld who’s grown bored with his regular 9 to 5 and decides to head top side for some fun. He teams up with a detective named Chloe (Lauren German), and the two solve some of L.A.’s worst crimes together while battling sexual tensions, avenging angels, and God himself. It’s full of fantasy but at its heart, Lucifer is a procedural filled with comedy and compelling storylines.

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BBC

Ripper Street

5 seasons, 36 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10

This British series set in 1889 in London’s poor, crime-ridden East End, sees Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, and Adam Rothenberg teaming up to solve some of the most horrifying crimes of the century. Of course, Jack the Ripper makes an appearance as the first season of the show is primarily concerned with stopping his string of murders, but later seasons see the three men solving train heists, immigration crises, and other tragedies that take place on their turf.

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BBC One

River

1 season, 6 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10

Stellan Skarsgard stars in this British drama about a detective inspector with the Metropolitan Police Service. Skarsgard plays DI John River, an officer haunted by visions of his murdered partner. He investigates her death over the course of six episodes, digging up conspiracies and cover-ups and his own personal trauma while also solving day-to-day cases that put him on collision courses with grieving family members, ex-cons, and his own brothers on the force.

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Showtime

Twin Peaks

2 seasons, 30 episodes | IMDb: 8.8/10

If small-town murder mysteries full of camp and supernatural phenomenon are your thing, well then why wouldn’t you watch (or re-watch) Twin Peaks? The series, crafted all the way back in the ’90s by David Lynch, is a cult-favorite and for good reason. With Kyle MacLachlan playing Special Agent Dale Cooper, a poor schmoe who’s called in to investigate the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer, he’s met with more than he bargained for. Conspiracy theories and otherworldly beings, time travel, and dwarves in red business suits soon follow. The original series may have ended with cliffhangers and unexplained plot-holes, but with the recent Showtime revival, now’s as good a time as any to catch up on all the strange events that seem to plague this sleepy town.

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Netflix

Collateral

1 season, 4 episodes | IMDb: 6.8/10

Carey Mulligan takes on a rare TV role with this British detective mini-series. Mulligan plays Kip Glaspie, an inspector assigned to investigate the murder of a pizza delivery driver who is gunned down in a London suburb. Over the course of four episodes, Kip uncovers a tangled web of players in the seemingly-straightforward case, making her job harder and putting her moral code on the line.

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