The Best British Detective Series

by garrydavies-80875 | created - 26 Feb 2018 | updated - 01 Mar 2018 | Public

A list of the all-time top British mystery series, from classic series like Poirot to modern hits like Luther.

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1. Sherlock (2010–2017)

TV-14 | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves

Votes: 854,650

2. Inspector Morse (1987–2000)

TV-14 | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Chief Inspector Morse has an ear for music, a taste for beer and a nose for crime. He sets out with Detective Sergeant Lewis to solve each intriguing case.

Stars: John Thaw, Kevin Whately, James Grout, Peter Woodthorpe

Votes: 11,131

3. Line of Duty (2012–2021)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Drama series following the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anti-corruption unit.

Stars: Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar, Craig Parkinson

Votes: 49,911

4. Prime Suspect (1991)

207 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A female police detective investigates a series of serial murders while dealing with sexist hostility from her male comrades.

Stars: Helen Mirren, John Benfield, Tom Bell, Jack Ellis

Votes: 7,335

5. Father Brown (2013– )

TV-PG | 52 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Series inspired by the stories of GK Chesterton; a Catholic priest has a knack for solving mysteries in his English village.

Stars: Mark Williams, Sorcha Cusack, John Burton, Jack Deam

Votes: 9,245

6. Midsomer Murders (1997– )

TV-14 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A veteran Detective Chief Inspector and his young Sergeant investigate murders around the regional community of Midsomer County.

Stars: John Nettles, Jane Wymark, Barry Jackson, Neil Dudgeon

Votes: 28,438

7. Endeavour (2012– )

TV-14 | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Set from 1965 to 1971, the show follows Endeavour Morse in his early years as a police constable. Working alongside his senior partner DI Fred Thursday, Morse engages in a number of investigations around Oxford.

Stars: Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, James Bradshaw, Sean Rigby

Votes: 21,905

8. Inspector Lewis (2006–2015)

TV-PG | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Inspector Robert Lewis and Sergeant James Hathaway solve the tough cases that the learned inhabitants of Oxford throw at them.

Stars: Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman, Rebecca Front

Votes: 11,866

9. Grantchester (2014– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A Cambridgeshire clergyman finds himself investigating a series of mysterious wrongdoings in his small village of Grantchester.

Stars: Robson Green, Tessa Peake-Jones, Al Weaver, Kacey Ainsworth

Votes: 11,540

10. Broadchurch (2013–2017)

TV-MA | 48 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The murder of a young boy in a small coastal town brings a media frenzy, which threatens to tear the community apart.

Stars: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan

Votes: 103,429

11. Vera (2011– )

TV-PG | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

With her caustic wit and singular charm, DCI Vera Stanhope and her team face a series of captivating murder mysteries set against the breathtaking Northumberland landscape.

Stars: Brenda Blethyn, Jon Morrison, Riley Jones, Kenny Doughty

Votes: 11,267

12. Luther (2010–2019)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

DCI John Luther is a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.

Stars: Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley, Warren Brown

Votes: 128,275

13. Death in Paradise (2011– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A UK police DI is transferred to St-Marie to investigate murders on the island, but he hates the sun, sea, and sand. Later series see other English and Irish detectives take over the role.

Stars: Elizabeth Bourgine, Danny John-Jules, Don Warrington, Tobi Bakare

Votes: 16,977

14. Foyle's War (2002–2015)

TV-14 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

As WWII rages, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front; investigating crime on the south coast of England. Later series, see the retired detective working as an MI5 agent in the aftermath of the war.

Stars: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell, Ellie Haddington

Votes: 13,784

15. Inspector George Gently (2007–2017)

TV-MA | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

With the help of DS John Bacchus, Inspector George Gently spends his days bringing to justice members of the criminal underworld who are unfortunate enough to have the intrepid investigator assigned to their cases.

Stars: Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby, Simon Hubbard, Lisa McGrillis

Votes: 6,457

16. Poirot (1989–2013)

TV-14 | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The cases of eccentric, but sharp, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Stars: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson, Pauline Moran

Votes: 41,150

17. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2012–2015)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A female sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne in the late 1920s, fighting injustice with her pearl-handled pistol and her dagger-sharp wit.

Stars: Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings

Votes: 14,852

18. Shetland (2013– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

DI Jimmy Perez and his team investigate crimes within the close knit island community of Shetland.

Stars: Douglas Henshall, Alison O'Donnell, Steven Robertson, Erin Armstrong

Votes: 13,096

19. Marple (2004–2013)

TV-14 | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An elderly spinster living in the village of St. Mary Mead, helps her friends and relatives solve mysterious murders.

Stars: Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie, Stephen Churchett, Isabella Parriss

Votes: 7,276

20. Happy Valley (2014– )

TV-MA | 58 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Yorkshire based crime drama centering on the personal and professional life of Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood.

Stars: Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran, Charlie Murphy, Rhys Connah

Votes: 36,374

21. DCI Banks (2010–2016)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The tenacious and stubborn DCI Banks unravels disturbing murder mysteries aided by his young assistants, DS Annie Cabbot and DI Helen Morton.

Stars: Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Andrea Lowe, Caroline Catz

Votes: 6,760

22. Whitechapel (2009–2013)

TV-14 | 180 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A fast-tracked inspector, a hardened detective sergeant, and an expert in historical homicides investigate modern crimes with connections to the past in the Whitechapel district of London.

Stars: Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis, Steve Pemberton, Sam Stockman

Votes: 12,242

23. A Touch of Frost (1992–2010)

TV-MA | 105 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

DI Jack Frost is an unconventional policeman with sympathy for the underdog and an instinct for moral justice. Sloppy, disorganized and disrespectful, he attracts trouble like a magnet.

Stars: David Jason, Bruce Alexander, John Lyons, Arthur White

Votes: 7,073

24. Rosemary & Thyme (2003–2006)

TV-PG | 48 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Set amongst the stunning gardens of Europe, Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme, two professional gardeners, find themselves drawn into solving mysterious crimes.

Stars: Felicity Kendal, Pam Ferris, Ryan Philpott, Daisy Dunlop

Votes: 4,182

25. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2001–2008)

TV-14 | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

British crime investigation series based around aristocratic, Oxford-educated Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley ( Nathaniel Parker ) and his working-class assistant Sergeant Barbara Havers ( Sharon Small ).

Stars: Nathaniel Parker, Sharon Small, Lesley Vickerage, Paul Hickey

Votes: 4,563

26. Scott & Bailey (2011–2016)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two female detectives, one motherly, the other emotionally immature, have varying levels of success applying their eccentric outlooks on life to their police cases and private lives.

Stars: Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp, Tony Mooney, David Prosho

Votes: 7,783

27. The Murdoch Mysteries (2004–2005)

90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In 1890s Canada, a police inspector applies the latest scientific methods of deduction, much to the chagrin of his superiors.

Stars: Peter Outerbridge, Flora Montgomery, Matthew MacFadzean, Colm Meaney

Votes: 736

28. Father Brown (1974)

TV-14 | 50 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Based on the stories of G.K. Chesterton, a British Catholic Priest solves mysteries.

Stars: Kenneth More, Dennis Burgess, David Buck, Graham Crowden

Votes: 343

29. The Bletchley Circle (2012–2014)

TV-14 | 45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In 1952, four women who worked at the wartime code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, reunite to track down a serial killer.

Stars: Rachael Stirling, Julie Graham, Sophie Rundle, Anna Maxwell Martin

Votes: 11,670

30. Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1998)

TV-14 | 75 min | Crime, Drama, History

The medieval era cases of a Crusader-turned-Monk who investigates mysteries in the Norman English town of Shrewsbury.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, Michael Culver, Julian Firth, Terrence Hardiman

Votes: 2,458

31. Dalziel and Pascoe (1996–2007)

TV-14 | 120 min | Crime, Mystery, Drama

Supt. Dalziel and partner DI Pascoe investigate murders, and find a bond forming between them despite their blatantly differing personalities.

Stars: Warren Clarke, Colin Buchanan, David Royle, Jennifer James

Votes: 2,653

32. New Tricks (2003–2015)

TV-14 | 60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Three retired police officers are drafted in to solve cold cases, with a touch of comedy and drama

Stars: Dennis Waterman, Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong, James Bolam

Votes: 6,240

33. Ripper Street (2012–2016)

TV-MA | 59 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The streets of Whitechapel are the haunt of Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his team of officers, who aim to maintain law and order in a place once terrorized by Jack the Ripper.

Stars: Matthew Macfadyen, Adam Rothenberg, MyAnna Buring, Jerome Flynn

Votes: 20,311

34. Waking the Dead (2000–2011)

TV-14 | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd is the leader of a Police team which investigates unsolved murders using modern technology.

Stars: Trevor Eve, Sue Johnston, Wil Johnson, Tara Fitzgerald

Votes: 5,367

35. Jonathan Creek (1997–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Working from his home in a converted windmill, Jonathan Creek is a magician with a natural ability for solving puzzles. He soon puts this ability to the use of solving impossible crimes and mysterious murders.

Stars: Alan Davies, Caroline Quentin, Stuart Milligan, Julia Sawalha

Votes: 7,088

36. The Fall (I) (2013–2016)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A seemingly cold but very passionate policewoman goes head to head with a seemingly passionate father who is in fact a cold serial killer in this procedural out of Belfast. The only thing they share is their common complexity.

Stars: Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch, Aisling Franciosi

Votes: 93,689

37. Wire in the Blood (2002–2009)

TV-MA | 69 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A psychologist gets inside of the minds of both killers and victims to aid the police in solving gruesome serial killings in Northern England.

Stars: Robson Green, Mark Letheren, Emma Handy, Mark Penfold

Votes: 7,776

38. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984–1985)

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solve the mysteries of copper beeches, a Greek interpreter, the Norwood builder, a resident patient, the red-headed league, and one final problem.

Stars: Jeremy Brett, David Burke, Rosalie Williams, Eric Porter

Votes: 21,073

39. Wallander (2008–2016)

TV-PG | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A television show centered on a soul-searching Swedish cop.

Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Richard McCabe, Jeany Spark, Sarah Smart

Votes: 13,907

40. Silent Witness (1996– )

TV-14 | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Crimes through the eyes of a team of forensic pathologists and forensic scientists.

Stars: Emilia Fox, William Gaminara, Tom Ward, David Caves

Votes: 8,020

41. Agatha Raisin (2014– )

Not Rated | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

The Cotswolds-based PR guru turned amateur sleuth returns for a series of comedic murder-mysteries based on the books by M.C. Beaton.

Stars: Ashley Jensen, Matt McCooey, Jamie Glover, Mathew Horne

Votes: 3,766

42. Hamish Macbeth (1995–1997)

Not Rated | 60 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Hamish Macbeth is a police constable in the small Scottish town of Lochdubh, who occasionally bends the rules when it suits him or when it can help some of his fellow eccentric townsfolk.

Stars: Robert Carlyle, Ralph Riach, Brian Pettifer, Stuart Davids

Votes: 1,837

43. Rebus (2000–2004)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Set in Edinburgh, the mercurial Detective Inspector John Rebus's investigations lead him through the city's ancient beauty and into its more sinister quarters.

Stars: Ken Stott, Claire Price, Jennifer Black, Gregor Gillespie

Votes: 1,740

44. The Mrs Bradley Mysteries (1998–2000)

TV-14 | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller

Paired with her reliable and devoted chauffeur, Mrs Bradley's finely honed skills of investigation seek out the truth behind the mysteries surrounding a death at the opera, crimes of passion at a circus, poisoning and family secrets.

Stars: Neil Dudgeon, Diana Rigg, Peter Davison, John Alderton

Votes: 1,248

45. Cracker (1993–1996)

TV-MA | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald is a criminal psychologist. He is rather anti-social and obnoxious but he has a gift for solving crimes. Thus he is employed as a consultant by the Manchester Police.

Stars: Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien, Barbara Flynn

Votes: 6,102

46. Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996–1998)

TV-PG | 75 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Hetty wakes on her 60th birthday and decides to become a private investigator. With assistance from a teenager called Geoffrey and her husband Robert, combined with her own common sense, Hetty is confident she can solve any case.

Stars: Patricia Routledge, Dominic Monaghan, Derek Benfield, John Graham-Davies

Votes: 1,495

47. The Last Detective (2003–2007)

90 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.7