20 detective mini-series you can watch in an evening

On some series, you can fall asleep or become irrevocably confused by the second or third season. While crime puzzle TV shows keep you looking forward to new episodes, the stories are sometimes too long. But not in our case: we have collected the best detective mini-series that are worth watching in one breath, without taking breaks. The viewer will not have to endlessly guess who the killer is – the answer will arrive very quickly.

Paris Police 1900 (2021)

A novelty of European cinema in the noir genre , which takes place at the end of the 19th century. France is experiencing the scandalous death of President Faure, and the country is on the brink of civil war. In such difficult conditions, the Paris police are forced to work when a suitcase with a female corpse is found in the waters of the Seine. The case is entrusted to Inspector Antoine Jouin. A chain of evidence leads the young detective to a state secret, but the government is trying by all means to prevent outside interference.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Paris Police 1900

Actors:
Jeremy Laerte, Evelyn Brochu, Thibaut Evrard …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Stranger (2020)

It is impossible to tear yourself away from this foreign mini-series – Stephen King himself had a hand in writing the script for a mystical detective story with a twisted plot . The protagonist is a respected teacher , caring father and devoted husband. The arrest of Terry Maitland becomes the loudest event in the town, because the man is accused of killing his student. Terry has an ironclad alibi, backed up by witnesses, but the evidence speaks against the accused.

Original title:
The Outsider

Actors:
Ben Mendelsohn, Bill Camp, Jeremy Bobb …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Defending Jacob (2020)

Andy Barber, an assistant city attorney, is assigned a teen murder case . The victim was found with multiple stab wounds in a park near the school . After some time, the suspect is also found – the pedophile Patz, but he is forced to release him due to lack of evidence. Days later, Andy is unexpectedly removed from the investigation as the only piece of evidence leads to his son Jacob.

Original title:
Defending Jacob

Actors:
Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jayden Martell …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Head (2020)

A highly rated Spanish mini-series inspired by the Scandinavian detective “Platform 45”. A small group of scientists stay over the winter at the Arctic station to continue their research on climate change. In the spring, the “summer” team arrives, and Commander Berg discovers a monstrous picture. Most of the expedition is dead, several people have disappeared without a trace, and the only survivor is in a state of shock from what happened.

Original title:
The Head

Actors:
Sandra Andreis, Laura Bach, Hannes Fohlin…

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Murder at Whitehouse Farm (2020)

The foreign short series is based on real events in 1985, when an entire family became the victim of a killer. On the night of August 7, the Essex police station received a call from Jeremy Barber with the terrible news. His mentally ill sister killed her own children and parents, after which she committed suicide. Jeremy miraculously managed to escape, and for a short time the guy becomes a real hero in the eyes of the locals. However, to Sergeant Stan Jones, the version seems implausible, and the detective insists on an investigation.

Original title:
White House Farm

Actors:
Stephen Graham, Freddie Fox, Cressida Bonas …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Perry Mason (2020)

America is going through the Great Depression, but Los Angeles is thriving amid an oil boom. Although there are plenty of unfortunate people in the City of Angels, and among them is Perry Mason, the protagonist of a short retro detective series. A failed private detective takes on odd jobs and drowns traumatic personal memories of World War I in alcohol . One day, an old friend turns to Perry for help in a scandalous case. A baby is kidnapped from young spouses with a ransom demand, but at the place of exchange, the parents find the corpse of the baby.

Original title:
Perry Mason

Actors:
Matthew Reese, Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Unbelievable (2019)

Young Marie becomes the victim of a rapist, but justice is not on the side of the victim. The girl seems too calm to the police, and after several tough interrogations, under the onslaught of adult detectives, the unfortunate woman signs a confession of deceit. The case is closed, Marie’s life goes downhill, but a few years later, a similar crime occurs in a nearby town.

Original title:
Unbelievable

Actors:
Caitlin Deaver, Toni Collette, Merritt Weaver …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.4

Age Limits :
16+


Dublin Murders (2019)

The list of the best detective mini-series of recent years continues the history of the investigation of a cruel crime. An accidental discovery in a forest near the city shocked the whole of Dublin. The corpse of a child is discovered, and experienced detectives Riley and Maddox take over the case. The police suspect that the murder is connected with an incident twenty years ago, when three children disappeared without a trace in Dublin.

Original title:
Dublin Murders

Actors:
Sarah Greene, Killian Scott, Michael D’Arcy …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age Limits :
16+


Murder according to Freud (2019)

Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century is famous for its opera, theatrical performances and brilliant balls. However, criminals of all stripes are improving in their craft, so Detective Oscar Reinhardt does not decrease in work. In a short period of time, a series of murders is committed, and the detective finds himself at a dead end. Freud’s student psychoanalyst Max Lieberman comes to the rescue of justice .

Original title:
Vienna Blood

Actors:
Matthew Beard, Jurgen Maurer, Jessica De Gau …

Country:
UK, Austria

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Sharp Objects (2018)

The main character of a short action-packed series in the detective genre is a journalist from Chicago. Camille Preaker languishes in an obscure newspaper when she gets the chance to make a feature story. A girl has gone missing in her hometown, and Camilla takes up writing an investigative article. Returning home is not easy for a journalist, because upon arrival, old problems and horrors of the past emerge, long buried in the memory of a young woman.

Original title:
Sharp Objects

Actors:
Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
18+


The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2018)

The famous writer Marcus Goldman is in a creative crisis due to a lack of ideas and inspiration. The man turns to his old friend and mentor Harry Quebert for help, but chooses the wrong moment for this. A colleague is accused of a crime committed 30 years ago. Marcus intends to defend his friend. Bit by bit, the writer collects evidence of Harry’s innocence so that his friend does not end up in the electric chair.

Original Title :
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

Actors:
Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer, Damon Wayans Jr….

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Trial of Innocence (2018)

A short exciting story with an unpredictable ending got into the top of the cool detective mini-series. In one of the rooms of the mansion, the servant discovers the corpse of the mistress of the house, and the evidence points to one of the adopted children. Jack firmly denies guilt, but does not await trial. The guy dies in a prison cell under strange circumstances, and a few months later, Dr. Calgary appears on the threshold of the mansion. The man is sure of Jack’s innocence, and a new test awaits the family.

Original title:
Ordeal by Innocence

Actors:
Morven Christie, Anthony Boyle, Christian Cooke…

Country:
Great Britain, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Alphabet Murders (2018)

A wave of crimes has swept across England, behind which is an elusive serial killer. The police nicknamed the murderer ABC because the names of the victims are in alphabetical order. Ecrul Poirot joined the investigation along with Captain Hasting, but the famous duet has no versions yet. The only clue is the railway directory, which the killer leaves at the crime scene.

Original title:
The ABC Murders

Actors:
John Malkovich, Eamon Farren, Michael Shaffer …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.6

Age limits :
16+


Strike (2017 – 2020)

An interesting detective mini-series will introduce viewers to the private detective Cormoran Strike. The man was seriously wounded in the war, lost his family, but did not lose faith in justice. Strike is disastrously unlucky, so the agency almost closes under the weight of debt. The situation is saved by an old acquaintance of Kormoran, who came to the detective for help. Bristow lost his sister, and the official version of death is suicide. The brother does not believe in the suicide of a cheerful girl, and Strike gets down to business.

Original title:
Strike

Actors:
Tom Burke, Holliday Granger, Kerr Logan …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
18+


One Night (2016)

Nasir Khan is a modest native of a Pakistani family with strict morals. The guy is studying at the university, but it is difficult for him to communicate with sociable peers. The students decide to help Nasir join the team, so they invite him to a party . On the way there, the guy meets a charming girl. Nasir does not notice how he ends up at a stranger’s house, and wakes up in the morning next to the disfigured corpse of his mistress.

Original title:
The Night Of

Actors:
John Turturro, Riz Ahmed, Michael Kenneth Williams…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Maigret (2016)

A short detective series of 4 episodes received rave reviews from the audience, becoming a successful adaptation of Georges Simenon’s novels about the famous detective. For Jules Maigret, any mysterious crime is just another crossword puzzle, over which you don’t have to rack your brains for a long time. A cold-blooded and cynical detective reads others perfectly, so it is impossible to deceive a shrewd professional.

Original title:
Maigret

Actors:
Rowan Atkinson, Lucy Kohu, Sean Dingwall …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Five (2016)

The plot of the detective mini-series takes place in the mid-90s of the last century. Mark played with friends in the park, so he was not happy about the appearance of a younger brother in need of supervision. The guys send Jesse back, but the boy never returned home. On suspicion of committing a crime, a maniac was detained, and he confessed. But years later, things take an unexpected turn. One of Mark’s buddies works in the detective department of the police and discovers the similarity of biological evidence with Jesse’s DNA.

Original title:
The Five

Actors:
O. T. Fagbenley, Tom Cullen, Hannah Arterton …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


And there was nobody (2015)

A cool atmospheric mini-series filmed in the best traditions of Agatha Christie’s detective stories. Eight strangers receive an invitation to dinner from a family of aristocrats. The guests arrive at a mansion located on a remote island , only to be greeted by servants. The owner of the house does not show up, leaving a recording of his voice on a gramophone record. In the appeal, the unknown person accuses those present of committing atrocities – and begins the hunt for the guests.

Original title :
And Then There Were

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Murder Code (2012 – 2014)

The heroine of the mini-series worked as a cryptographer in the secret service during the war, but this is a thing of the past. Susan is married, has children and runs a household, although she secretly dreams of an active life. When a serial killer shows up in London, Susan decides to use her knowledge as a cryptographer to find the culprit. A woman unites with fighting friends, creating an invincible team.

Original title:
The Bletchley Circle

Actors:
Rachel Stirling, Julie Graham, Sophie Rundle …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Township (2012)

Mark left his native provincial town a long time ago, in which there are no prospects for a career and a normal life. Years later, the man is forced to return due to the strange death of his parents. The police declared a double suicide, but Mark immediately questions the official version of death. There is no problem that would cause parents to kill themselves, leaving an old grandmother and a minor daughter to fend for themselves.

Original title:
The Town

Actors:
Andrew Scott, Kelly Adams, Ashlyn Bi…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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