Shows based around a detective or mystery are almost always fun to watch. Of course, there are some really famous detectives, such as Sherlock Holmes and other more modern ones we see in our favorite television programs.
We looked at an entertainment forum to see what TV aficionados thought. We came away with 25 of the best detective series on television, listed in no particular order.
A comedy crime drama written by Noah Hawley, this show was inspired by the 1996 show of the same name. It was directed by the Coen brothers and takes place in the same universe.
2. True Detective
A nonlinear narrative, each True Detective season is different and can stand independently, except for some minor connections between each season. The first season concentrates on a bizarre murder, the second season is about a city official disappearing, and the third season is about obsession.
Set in the 1970s, this show is about criminal science. More specifically, it is about FBI agents going through an investigation and trying to determine the psychology of committing a murder. In the process of this investigation, they also come in contact with some real-life monsters.
4. Happy Valley
This is a show that takes place in Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. It is a British crime drama that stars Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran. The series follows Catherine Cawood, a divorced police sergeant.
During the first season, she has to deal with her past, the second season is about her clearing her name after being implicated in some murders, and season three has her closer to retirement age. She decides to go on a hike but is called to investigate some human remains that have been discovered.
5. Line of Duty
Line of Duty is a British police procedural. This story follows Sergeant Steve Arnott, an authorized firearms officer sent to the Anti-Corruption Unit 12. He is sent there because he refused to cover up an illegal shooting by a member of his own team. He teams up with Kate Fleming to try and uncover corruption within the Central Police.
This story follows a troubled yet intelligent English police detective, DCI John Luther. His personal and professional lives collide between his obsession with solving serial killings and trying to salvage his marriage that is on the rocks. He is someone who can be emotional and has no problem stretching the law to achieve his goal.
7. The Capture
A British soldier is charged with a crime, but not everything appears as it seems. A young detective is on the case, and as the investigation progresses, it looks like there might be a conspiracy. A conviction is overturned due to flawed evidence, however, something new comes to light, and this soldier finds themselves in trouble again.
A second-generation Pakistani young man finds himself in a bind after a brush with the law. After that incident, he is compelled by a Counter-Terrorism officer to work undercover for him. This officer has a sketchy past, and this new role might make this young man compromise everything he stands for and loves in his life.
9. The Bodyguard
David Budd is at the center of this story. He is a war veteran who is seen as a hero. His current role is working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service. David is assigned to protect someone he despises due to differing political beliefs. He struggles with whether his views will allow him to perform his duty to protect this person.
10. The Bridge
A crime has been committed right on the border between the United States and Mexico. With that being the case, a police officer from the El Paso PD needs to work with her Mexican counterpart to try and stop a criminal who is keeping busy on both sides of the border.
11. The Night Manager
Richard Roper is a criminal who traffics drugs and illegal arms and has made billions doing so. Jonathan Pine is a former British soldier called upon by the Foreign Office to investigate illegal arms sales. Not only that, but his mission is also to try and infiltrate the inner circle of Mr. Roper.
A member of the Los Angeles Police Department is on trial for the murder of a serial killer. At the same time, he is trying to investigate the homicide of a 13-year-old boy. He is a detective who tries to solve cases the old-school way. Problems arise when he doesn't always follow the rule book but he always gets his man.
13. Mare of Easttown
A teenage mother was recently murdered in Philadelphia while trying to get her life together. Police detective Marianne “Mare” Sheehan is called to investigate the crime. She is a bit of a local hero from her years as a star high school athlete many years ago, turned into a highly skilled crime investigator.
Sherlock is a well-known detective, and this series followed many of his exploits. In this show, he is a “consulting detective” who travels around modern-day London to solve mysteries. Of course, he joins Watson, who has returned from his duties in Afghanistan with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Richard Castle is a successful novelist. He is so successful that a serial killer has decided to imitate what happens in some of Richard's novels. After these crimes have been committed, Richard joins the NYPD homicide investigation to gain some insight. He doesn't get along very well with the team leader at first, and things aren't always as they seem, as his home life is dominated by his teenage daughter and mother.
16. The Mentalist
After a traumatic event, Patrick Jane makes it his life's mission to chase down the man responsible. He always had the gift of being able to read people and was quite successful as a fake psychic. All his years doing that make him a great addition to the California Bureau of Investigation, as he might have some insight that others won't. Jane's methods are unconventional and sometimes illegal, which can introduce another set of problems.
Columbo was a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. His unassuming demeanor caused people to underestimate him, but Columbo was one of the best detectives around. He would always seem to find a way to either trap the culprits or gain enough evidence that they would have no choice but to confess.
Adrian Monk is a former detective with the San Francisco Police Department. He now serves as a private consultant that deals with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This manifests in the form of him being scared of germs and contamination. He uses his incredible memory and ability to piece clues together to help solve cases for his former department.
19. Rookie Blue
A group of young cops has just graduated from the academy. They are now joining one of the most elite units in the city. However, they quickly learn that what happens in the real world differs significantly from the academy. Each day on the job is filled with choices they will need to make that will shape their lives in one way or another.
Hercule Poirot is a famous detective from Belgium. He has a way of getting involved in mysteries, either for a client or just because something caught his attention. He works alongside Captain Hastings and Scotland Yard Chief Inspector James Japp to help those who need it.
21. Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars is a high school student and a private investigator as an apprentice to her father, who is a detective. Her life begins to fall apart as her best friend gets murdered. She tries to solve a new case in each episode while also working on the complex mystery that sent her spiraling in the first place.
This show centers around two friends starting an unlicensed private investigation business. Hank Dolworth is an ex-cop and a recovering alcoholic and is joining forces with his best friend and former criminal, Britt Pollack.
A novice sleuth is able to convince the police that he has psychic powers. He and his friend own a business called “Psych,” and they stay in business by working as psychics for the Santa Barbara Police Department. They have to go through quite a lot throughout the series as they do what they can to try and keep this ruse going so things don't come tumbling down.
24. The Wire
This story is set in the streets of Baltimore. It is told from many different perspectives, including through the eyes of some policemen and gang members. It also discusses how these streets affect politicians, the media, and everyday citizens.
25. The Shield
This is a drama about some dirty cops in the Los Angeles Police Department and their lives. These cops aren't afraid to cross the line or work with whomever they need to so that they can both make sure the community is safe and benefit personally from it.
Brandon Hofer is a California-based writer who covers the entertainment industry. More specifically, Brandon has covered the gaming industry since 2006, attending and covering the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) every year. Brandon has also attended the Games Developer Conference, Penny Arcade Expo, and various events put on by publishers and developers. Brandon has worked with numerous studios, including Xbox Game Studios, PlayStation, Nintendo, Ubisoft, THQ, Activision, Electronic Arts, and more. Over the years, working with those studios has also allowed Brandon to work with iconic franchises such as the NFL, WWE, and the UFC. Thanks to that experience, Brandon also covers what goes on in the world of sports entertainment, primarily WWE. Brandon's work has appeared on MSN, Muck Rack, Flipboard, GameCrate, Wealth of Geeks, and more.