9 Great Mysteries You Can Binge Watch Now
Stuck at home? Time to catch up with Vera, Poirot, Marleau and other top TV sleuths
En español | After watching a great mystery, I often tell my husband we'll never have the couch time to cope with the rising tsunami of good streaming content. Well, that has changed! Here are nine thrilling series and where to binge them.
Crusty and guarded with an extra helping of hard-won wisdom and a dash of Peter Falk's Columbo, DCI Vera Stanhope (double Oscar-nominee Brenda Blethyn, 74) attacks her picturesque rural Northumberland mysteries like a terrier with a bone. With 10 seasons, there's plenty of bludgeoning, grudges, buried secrets and plain old jealous spouses in this twisty, female-driven series created by Raven Black novelist Ann Cleeves, 65.
Watch it on: Amazon, Britbox, You Tube, Google Play, iTunes
In a kookier Columbo vein, this delightful, France-set, three-season mystery follows the eccentric titular crime fighter as she uncovers shady spa deals, murder by beer, warring siblings and the usual unusual suspects. Corinne Masiero, 56, plays the tall, jocular, trooper hat-wearing investigator, who always has “one last question” that drives to the heart of the mystery. Despite the violence, Marleau always finds a way to get her joie de vivre on — no mopey Wallander moments for her. Great plots, strangely charming detective, beautiful scenery: This is a keeper that's a little off the beaten path. And French legend Gérard Depardieu guest stars in Episode 1.
Watch it on: MHZ Choice, Amazon
This British-Austrian pairing of struggling police detective Oskar Rheinhardt (Jürgen Maurer, 53) and Freud-leaning Jewish medical student Max Liebermann (Matthew Beard) rejiggers the classic Sherlock/Dr. Watson format. The turn-of-the-19th-century Viennese psychological thriller is rich with historical details, meticulous costume design and period rooms suitable for the Met. Dark secrets rip open as the two men bond over corpses, despite their social and religious differences.
Watch it on: PBS Masterpiece, available on Amazon.
Before Fleabag claimed the hot priest title for Andrew Scott, Masterpiece Mystery! had this wonderful rural series. James Norton stars as Sidney Chambers, a very hot Anglican vicar constantly warm under his clerical collar. When he's not tending his flock or penning a sermon — or flirting with his married ex — he tracks down 1950s criminals with grumpy local detective Geordie Keating (Robson Green, 55, star of another hidden gem you must discover, Touching Evil). A charming mystery, it gets the chemistry just right, and as it moves through time, the ensemble expands organically. You'll be thoroughly hooked.
Watch it on: Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes
Matthew Macfadyen (TV's Succession) is DI Edmund Reid, a brooding Victorian detective haunted by the unsolved Jack the Ripper killings — and his daughter's disappearance. In a sharp BBC period thriller, Game of Thrones’ Jerome Flynn, 57, plays Reid's right-hand man and Adam Rothenberg his cutting-edge American forensic pro with a dark past, whose scalpel shakes from drink-and-womanizing. Five seasons, great mysteries, twisty relationships and outstanding and outlandish Victorian gear.
Watch it on: Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, iTunes
Brilliant, beautiful, aloof Stockholm lawyer Martinsson (Ida Engvoll) has it made — a big job at a swanky law firm; an adoring, wealthy boyfriend; a fabulous apartment. But after a funeral in chilly Kiruna, the remote, midnight-sun town where she was raised, she gets pulled into a local murder investigation. Along the way, she befriends her older neighbor and his dog, and finds the spiritual self she'd lost long ago. From the wonderful Asa Larsson novels you now have time to read.
Watch it on: YouTube, Amazon, Google Play
Mad about Mads Mikkelsen, 54? Dive into this Danish police procedural. His elite mobile task force helps locals solve the stickiest crimes. An international 2002 Emmy winner, the Nordic noir's plots dig into forensic analysis, the team's relationships on and off the job, and the underlying social and political causes for brutal crimes.
Watch it on: Amazon
Donna Leon's Brunetti Mysteries
Avid readers of Donna Leon's best-selling mysteries go for the armchair tourism of an insider's Venice — and stay for her compelling characters. Honorable Commissarrio Brunetti (Uwe Kockisch, 76) solves gnarly crimes, taking time for home lunches cooked by his socially prominent academic wife. As the waters rise, and the old ways seem to crumble, the crime seems to involve the whole criminal system. Brunetti is like a stylish Sisyphus.
Watch it on: MHZ Choice
Agatha Christie's Poirot
Agatha Christie's prickly Belgian detective Hercule Poirot insinuates himself into situations high and low, on trains and Nile cruises, solving mysteries across Europe and beyond. David Suchet, 73, never ceases to delight as Poirot, a cultivated man with a bottomless well of peccadillos who impeccably solves Christie's complicated puzzles — embedded in the twisted psyches and sexualities of her subjects. The Belgian chocolate of the genre — always tasty.
Watch it on: BritBox, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube