Mystery TV for my mother?
November 17, 2017 4:20 AM   Subscribe

My mom loves mystery TV. She's seen every season of Midsomer Murders and I can only assume she's seen every mystery TV series on (Canadian) Netflix (Miss Fisher, etc.). She especially loves the Cumberbatch Sherlock, and is periodically obsessed with Jack the Ripper. What hasn't she seen that she might like?
posted by flibbertigibbet to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Case Histories? Crime drama set in Edinburgh and based on books by Kate Atkinson.
posted by rongorongo at 4:25 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by oh pollo! at 4:36 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This isn't a series recommendation per se, but ever since my parents got Acorn they're forever recommending to me some amazing British show I've never heard of, and I had considered myself fairly well up on popular UK TV. It's basically a mini-Netflix focused on just British (and I think some Australian) shows, making them available to the US and Canada. They have a whole mystery section.
posted by Diablevert at 4:36 AM on November 17, 2017 [10 favorites]

Your Mom must be my twin!

I love the Dr. Blake Mystery series - this is only season 3 or 4 so it will be easy to catch up with the story line.
posted by pamspanda at 4:40 AM on November 17, 2017

I'm a big fan of Midsomer Murders too. I like other UK detective series as well. Inspector Morse is absolutely brilliant, one of my all time favorite tv series. A Touch of Frost and Dalziel and Pascoe are also worth watching. Recently I came across Father Brown which is a lot less serious and as such even closer to Midsomer Murders' typical blend of mystery and parody.
posted by Desertshore at 4:41 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by pamspanda at 4:44 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

She must have seen it, I'm sure but just in case she hasn't - Murdoch Mysteries

A Touch of Frost, Morse, Endeavor, Lewis, Ripper Street, Dalziel and Pascoe, Pie in the Sky. I don't know what's available on Canadian Netflix. Slasher is a bit darker but very good. The five was OK - its a self-contained mini-series so just 1 season, same with The Night Of.
posted by missmagenta at 4:49 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Agatha Christie's Poirot - very faithful adaptations of the Poirot novels. David Suchet is Poirot embodied.

Agatha Christie's Marple - slightly OTT, tongue-in-cheek adaptations of the Miss Marple novels. Lots and lots of British TV and occasionally even film royalty to be spotted - Benedict Cumberbatch is in Murder is Easy, Joanna Lumley has a recurring role as Miss Marple's friend Dolly Bantry.
posted by Ziggy500 at 4:50 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

Has she seen all the Poirots starring David Suchet? So good.
posted by Malla at 4:50 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seconding Grantchester. Foyle's War is on Netflix, so she's probably seen that. She might like Murder Maps on Netflix which is a sort of True Crime docuseries about historical British murder cases. Luther is also on Netflix, it's pretty good. Numb3rs? It drifts into procedural territory sometimes, but still worth it, in my opinion.
posted by katyggls at 4:59 AM on November 17, 2017

The Closer and its successor Major Crimes. Sadly, neither is available on Canadian Netflix, but she might be able to get them through the library. They're available for sale at iTunes.
posted by Amy NM at 5:06 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Not sure what you can access in Canada, but for cosy crime that isn't based in the UK: The Brokenwood Mysteries
posted by AFII at 5:09 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Is “Murder, She Wrote” on Canadian Netflix? (It used to be on US Netflix but they took it off.) DVDs can be had on US Amazon at least; only $82 for the complete series (!) It’s very eighties but/and it’s wonderful. Bonus, there is a fun mini-game of “spot the actor who later became very famous.” (Also, it passes the Bechdel test in a surprisingly high fraction of episodes, which is just refreshing.)
posted by snowmentality at 5:10 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Death in Paradise is formulaic to the point of parody but with beautiful scenery and sympathetic characters.
posted by Botanizer at 5:12 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

The Sherlock Holmes series from the 80s with Jeremy Brett is really good.
posted by doctornecessiter at 5:41 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Jonathan Creek mysteries are fun. They're all locked door mysteries, solved by an illusionist who works as a consultant. Low key and clever, not at all overwrought or flashy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:59 AM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Vera, with Brenda Blethyn is worth a go. +1 for Dalziel and Pascoe if she hasn't seen it already. Wallander maybe?
posted by crocomancer at 6:10 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

Seconding Jonathan Creek and Murdoch Mysteries. The Finder is a little quirkier but a lot of fun.
posted by okayokayigive at 6:13 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Taggart! Cracker! And the altogether more grim Red Riding trilogy.
posted by ZipRibbons at 6:13 AM on November 17, 2017

Broadchurch. Two-season arc for first mystery, wonderful actors, lavish photography, and a good story.
posted by Dolley at 6:20 AM on November 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

Early episodes of Inspector Murdoch might be up her alley and unseen as missmagenta says. They take place in 1880's and onward Toronto and are quite good. Also seconding Dr. Blake. If she's willing to sort of move over into cop procedural types of mysteries she might also like Scott and Bailey (basically a UK cop show but most of the lead characters are women) and Life on Mars (70s cop show, sort of, great if she likes that sort of period stuff. I'm afraid I don't really know what's available on Netflix, and wasn't sure if you only wanted Netflix options, but she might also like a few more international type shows

- Wallander (another cop procedural, Ken Branagh is just great)
- Zen - UK series filmed in Italy but all in English
posted by jessamyn at 7:03 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Brokenwood is on Acorn and i nth that recommendation as excellent. I have Acorn TV and as a cozy mystery lover can recommend a subscription. It has older stuff and some new.
posted by chapps at 7:21 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

These are all on US Netflix -- hopefully they might be on Canada Netflix as well.
Top of the Lake*
Foyle's War
Ripper Street
The Fall*
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries
Prime Suspect

The ones with asterisks are rather more bleak than your usual cozy mystery.
posted by OrangeDisk at 7:38 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Inspector Montalbano? Veronica Mars is awesome but different in tone than all the others.
posted by azalea_chant at 8:00 AM on November 17, 2017

Inspector Morse is absolutely brilliant, one of my all time favorite tv series.

Let's not forget the equally well-done prequel series, Endeavour.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:02 AM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Fall, Top of the Lake, Happy Valley, Wallender, The Killing, Spiral (possibly too gritty; also in French with English subtitles)
posted by AFABulous at 9:10 AM on November 17, 2017

I enjoyed the first series of The Tunnel. The second series, not as much. ymmv.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:49 AM on November 17, 2017

Completely frivolous frothy fun, and quite easy to figure out whodunnit, but I have really enjoyed the "Murder She Baked" series. (don't tell anyone)
posted by JenThePro at 11:40 AM on November 17, 2017

I love so many of these shows mentioned! A couple I don't see yet in this thread:

Shetland (crime drama set in Scotland)
Dicte (Danish crime reporter)
posted by JenMarie at 12:16 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

One more:

Inspector George Gently
posted by JenMarie at 12:18 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

For Canadian content:

Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace.

Murdoch Mysteries has a spin-off that's just started, with a female detective this time: Frankie Drake Mysteries.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 1:05 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Love this thread, I'm writing down suggestions of those I haven't yet seen. And have a recommendation: Rosemary and Thyme
posted by poppunkcat at 1:48 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've added so much to my To-Watch list from this thread that I feel have to try to contribute something.

How about Republic of Doyle, set in Newfoundland. Light hearted and kind of silly but entertaining.

And a personal fave is Inspector Lewis, mentioned above but providing the full title here. After Inspector Morse's death his sergeant, Robbie Lewis, became the Detective Inspector. Seven or so excellent seasons of a show that really takes it time to tell good stories.
posted by Moxx of Balhoon at 1:51 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't have Netflix at all so I don't know if this is available, but I cannot leave this thread without recommending both the original Prime Suspect series starring Helen Mirren and (for something more cheerful) Kingdom (Stephen Fry as an affable lawyer in a small town in the UK! Jumble Sales! Quirky Brits! People who need legal advice! Can you tell I was crushed when this show wasn't renewed).
posted by janepanic at 4:06 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

She night enjoy the shows recommended here.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 10:58 PM on November 17, 2017

Love all the suggestions above. I'd like to add:
New Tricks (up to the season with original cast)
Longmire - set in rural America but just as charming as Midsomer
Pie in the Sky

There are also the Hallmark series that aren't too bad, eg Garage Sale mysteries.
posted by A hidden well at 12:54 PM on November 18, 2017

Best answer: I enjoyed these two series: Hamish Macbeth & Murder in Suburbia. The Agatha Raisin series is based on books by the same author (MC Beaton) as Hamish, although the books & series are so different as to be barely recognizable, especially Hamish. Murder in Suburbia is lowkey murder series with female detectives. She might like Vexed, too. Another vote for Vera; love that series. All of these (and more!) are currently on Acorn TV.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 7:48 PM on November 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks guys - I bought her a gift subscription to Acorn!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 3:46 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

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