9 British Murder-Mystery Shows to Stream Right Now

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Photo: ITV

When it comes to captivating British murder-mystery series, does anything spring to mind as easily as the quintessentially popular Sherlock? There's certainly no shortage of solid detective dramas on this side of the pond, but there's something so pleasantly inimitable about well-accented "detective inspectors" or "police constables" sauntering around England's big cities and small villages for the sake of justice. So, ahead of the premiere of BBC America's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency which previously had life as another series broadcast in the U.K. we chose the nine best murder-mystery shows available to stream right now. (But if comedy, sci-fi, or period drama are where your Anglophile interests lie, we have those recommendations for you, too.)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot

What’s it about? Liz Meriwether has already explained the joys of Agatha Christie’s Poirot for us, but such a wonderfully mustachioed protagonist deserves another round of attention. The long-running series revolves around the eponymous Belgian detective in hot pursuit of white-collar criminals, often accompanied by his daft but well-meaning sidekicks. (Damn it, Hastings!) All of the Poirot novels were adapted, so you have a lot of episodes to look forward to.
Where can I watch it?
Netflix, Acorn TV

The Bletchley Circle

What’s it about? Yes, ladies who code! This series follows four badass women who served as code-breakers for the British military during World War II, who reunite years later to investigate a series of linked murders. (All while hiding it from their husbands.) As the gruesome murders continue to target women and the police ignore the escalating complexities of the case, their deciphering prowess becomes more pivotal than ever.
Where can I watch it?
Netflix, PBS

Lewis (also known as Inspector Lewis)

What’s it about? Don’t be fooled by the prestigious academic aura of Oxford — bad stuff happens there a lot more often than you would expect. Enter the duo of blue-collar detective inspector Lewis and intellectual detective sergeant Hathaway, whose shared goal is to rid the city of any and all evil. (If this piques your interest, the show’s predecessor, Inspector Morse, is also available to stream; as is that show’s prequel, Endeavour, which is currently airing. Quite the lineage here!)
Where can I watch it?
PBS, Amazon

Grantchester

What’s it about? An unlikely partnership between an army officer turned Anglican vicar and a detective inspector forms in a 1950s Cambridgeshire village when one of the local church’s parishioners suspiciously dies. The aforementioned holy man — did we mention he’s extremely debonair? — has a talent for investigating, and the yin-and-yang relationship between the two gentlemen flourishes as a result. Watch this at home, or watch this at Sunday school.
Where can I watch it?
Amazon, PBS

Rosemary & Thyme

What’s it about? Perhaps the coziest of all cozy mysteries, this delightful series follows two older women — one a former police constable, the other a former university lecturer — whose love and passion for gardening brings them together to solve various crimes. And what do you know, they have quite the knack for green-fingered sleuthing! If Shawn and Gus from Psych were reincarnated as two sexagenarians in the English countryside, Rosemary & Thyme would certainly be the result.
Where can I watch it?
Netflix, Acorn TV

Midsomer Murders

What’s it about? This is another quintessential drama about a seasoned male detective and his young partner in a small, murderous county. The fictional setting of Midsomer in modern-day England is riddled with crime and greed, and the duo aims to solve every last one of them as smoothly as possible. The show has been running strong for 18 seasons, so you have a fair share of sergeants and inspectors to cycle through.
Where can I watch it?
Netflix, Acorn TV

Death in Paradise

What’s it about? Much more lighthearted than grisly, Death in Paradise follows a detective inspector with a hatred of beach life who arrives on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie to investigate a mysterious murder, only to be forced to remain on the island once the case closes. And, as the popular trope dictates, he’s teamed up with a local partner who doesn’t particularly like him. Turns out, a lot of murders crop up in this tiny idyll.
Where can I watch it?
Netflix, PBS

Foyle’s War

What’s it about? As World War II ravages Europe, a methodical detective inspector hunkers down along the snoozy south England coast to solve very non-snoozy crimes. (Murder! Espionage! Treason! The black market! Even more espionage!) With his faithful police driver and sergeant by his side, this trio faces a war on the home front that drips with suspense and intrigue. It’s not as humorous as the other series on this list, but its keen attention to historical detail will keep you coming back for more.
Where can I watch it?
Netflix, Hulu, Acorn TV

Agatha Christie’s Marple

What’s it about? Honestly, there can never be too many Agatha Christie television adaptations, and Agatha Christie’s Marple is a wonderful, nuanced exploration into her universally beloved Miss Marple character. All 12 of the novels are depicted in the series, which finds the amateur detective assisting the police with puzzling cases in her quiet village. (Seriously, how many crimes can possibly occur in these picturesque British towns?) Elderly spinsters have never looked so cool.
Where can I watch it?
Acorn TV, Hulu