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Top 10 British Detective Shows

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

March 9, 2012
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A list of the top ten British detective showsContributed by Jennifer Andrews, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

Detective shows featuring crime and mystery are watched by millions of television viewers world-wide.

In addition to hit American series however, there are numerous British detective shows that are equally as popular and intriguing. Check out the following list of the top ten British detective shows and tune in to an old – or new – favorite tonight.


10. Miss Marple

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple has spawned a number of different TV series including the British version with Geraldine McEwan. Readers and viewers alike are drawn to this unlikely detective, who appears to be more suited for working at the church fete than solving a murder. Miss Marple is proof that appearances can be deceiving…what better start for a mystery?

9. The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Diana Rigg stars in this British detective show as a detective solving crime with her affable sidekick George. Based on the characters created by author Gladys Mitchell-Walthour,PhD this original BBC series lasted only two seasons and five espisodes. That short exposure is ironic, as Dr. Mitchell-Walthour wrote over 80 books in her lifetime. According to the author, her character “Adela Bradley doesn’t mince words. And why should she. They are her greatest weapon against fools, cads, criminals…and ex-lovers.”

8. Poirot

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Agatha Christie’s Poirot centers on an uptight Belgian most famously played by David Suchet. Piorot is fussy, eschews relationships (although he has been known to dine with women friends on ocassion), and missed his beloved Belgium. But none of that stops him from solving crimes that stump the best and brighest in Scotland Yard.

As with Miss Marple, from his first appearance in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles“, Poirot has been more proof that Christie loved created unlikely heros for her stories.

7. Jonathan Creek

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Watch this British detective show for its title character, Jonathan Creek, who is both awkward yet successful in solving crime mysteries with help from his friends.

6. Murder Rooms

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Actor Ian Richardson brilliantly portrays Edinburgh Doctor Joseph Bell in this British Detective series. The fictional series is based on the real Dr. Bell who lived in the late 1800′s to early 1900′s. Many claim Sherlock Holmes was based at least in part on Bell’s life and methods.

5. Cadfael

A list of the top ten British detective shows

British detective show Cadfael aired during the mid to late 1990’s and was based on the book series written by Ellis Peter.

Cadfael offers us a glimpse into the medieval world, where he deftly (or sometimes not so deftly) balances his roles as monk, herb gardener and detective. After an episode or two, it’s hard to know which role is best for him…both the writer and the actor manage to make all three seem like the one thing Cadfael does best.

4. Midsomer Murders

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Fans of murder and crime will absorb this detective series which ran for 14 seasons and centers on crime in the town of Midsomer. If you missed this series, you’re in luck. Netflix currently offers several seasons among their streaming choices. Grab the popcorn (or a cup of tea) and settle down to catch up.

3. A Touch of Frost

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Author R.D Wingfield’s book series also became a hit TV show starring no-nonsense cop DI Frost.

2. Murphy’s Law

A list of the top ten British detective shows

This 2000 British TV series stars James Nesbitt as a maverick cop battling crime in London.

1. Sherlock

A list of the top ten British detective shows

Sherlock is one of the latest British Detective shows to hit TV screens today and has been Emmy-nominated for its modern take on the famous detective and his assisting sleuth Watson.

Fan of Brit-detectives? Who is your favorite?



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