Not Hollywood alone: ​​20 European detective series

Everyone finds for himself a reason to plunge into the fascinating world of detectives. Some people like to solve ingenious puzzles. Others are mesmerized by noir stories about the hunt for serial killers. And someone just likes to see how tough cops put bad guys behind bars. And all these viewer requests are easily covered by the best European detective series from our today’s selection.

Lupine (2021)

As a child, the hero of the detective novelty of the cinema eagerly read a book about the adventures of the robber Arsene Lupin. Inspired by history, Assan decides to rob the Louvre during the auction, where one of the exhibits will be an expensive necklace. But it’s not just about money – Assan is also driven by revenge . 25 years ago, because of a wealthy family, his father was undeservedly convicted of allegedly stealing this very jewel.

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

Original title:
Lupin

Actors:
Omar Sy, Vincent Londez, Ludivine Sagnier…

Country:
France, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Head (2020)

The Spanish detective series takes the viewer to the South Pole. An international team of ten scientists is preparing to spend the long polar night at the scientific station. Everything is thought out in advance to complete the mission, but something unforeseen happens. Six months later, their replacements find 7 corpses and one surviving girl. Where did the other two people go and what happened on the Polaris VI? The stationmaster starts an investigation , because his wife is among those who disappeared.

Original title:
The Head

Actors:
Alexander Villaume, Catherine O’Donnelly, John Lynch …

Country:
Spain, Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Miss Scarlet and Duke (2020)

Among the interesting European TV shows of recent years is an Irish series about a brave detective in a skirt and her cordial friend from Scotland Yard. It’s the Victorian era, the first suffragist movements are just emerging, but the world still belongs to men. During this time, Eliza Scarlet is left destitute after her father’s death. The orphaned girl is still not married, but Scarlet is not going to lose heart. She has a legacy – a detective agency. A young Englishwoman takes on the investigation of crimes along with Inspector William Wellington.

Original title:
Miss Scarlet and the Duke

Actors:
Kate Phillips, Stuart Martin, Kathy Belton …

Country:
Ireland, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Freud (2020)

This stylish detective story is set in 1880s Vienna. Fear, caused by the actions of a serial killer, swept the city. The young and yet unknown father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, the war veteran Alfred Kiss and the clairvoyant Fleur, who is able to predict where the next murder will take place, take up the case. In an attempt to unravel the name of the criminal, whose victims are people from different walks of life, from prostitutes to aristocrats, Freud discovers the power of hypnosis.

Original title:
Freud

Actors:
Robert Finster, Ella Rumpf, Georg Friedrich …

Country:
Austria, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


In the dense forest (2020)

The plot of the European detective begins in 1994 with the disappearance of four teenagers in a Polish summer camp. Two of them are found dead, and two more disappear without a trace. 25 years pass, and the old story reminds of itself. The one who was considered missing suddenly appears on the horizon. Pavel, the brother of one of the disappeared, once a leader in this camp, and now a prosecutor, is forced to recall the events of the ill-fated summer and unravel the tangle of old secrets. He is still tormented by questions – what happened then and is his sister alive?

Original title:
W głębi lasu

Actors:
Grzegorz Damenzki, Agnieszka Grochowska, Hubert Milikowski …

Country:
Poland, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Murder according to Freud (2019)

The British series is worth watching for fans of atmospheric detective stories from Europe who have inherited the traditions of Agatha Christie. The action takes us to Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century. A young doctor, Max Liebermann, who studies psychoanalysis, is sent to a European capital to oversee the investigations. He is attached to the stern and clumsy detective Oscar Reinhard. A man is not at all happy with such a companion. However, together they will be able to put the pieces of the mosaic into a single picture and solve more than one crime.

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+


Sanctuary (2019)

The heroine of the Swedish detective series Helen decides to visit her twin sister in an upscale sanatorium located in the Italian Alps among the picturesque mountains, far from civilization. But a respectable institution hides terrible secrets, and a visit to her sister ends quite unexpectedly for the girl. She ends up in her place, locked in a ward. It turns out that the territory of the psychiatric hospital is closed, and patients are there for life. And all Helen’s attempts to explain to the staff that she is not who they take her to turn out to be a failure.

Original title:
Himmelsdalen

Actors:
Josephine Asplund, Matthew Modine, Lorenzo Riquelmi …

Country:
Sweden

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Pass (2018 – 2019)

The European noir series was filmed in harsh weather conditions in the heart of the Alps at high altitude, which makes the picture even more realistic. In the mountains on the border of Germany and Austria, the body of an unknown man is found. Everything indicates that this is a ritual murder, and the maniac dragged the corpse to this place on purpose. Representatives of both countries will investigate the crime. From Germany – the young and optimistic Ellie Stocker, from Austria – the cynical and rude Gideon Winter.

Original title:
Der Pass

Actors:
Julia Jench, Nicolas Ofcharek, Franz Hartwig…

Country:
Germany, Austria

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 8.0

Age restrictions:
18+


The name of the rose (2018 – 2020)

Before you is not only a European series about investigations, but also a historical detective story with a deep philosophical thought, based on the novel of the same name by the Italian writer Umberto Eco. The action takes place in 1327. Friar William of Baskerville arrives at the Benedictine abbey to participate in a theological discussion, accompanied by the novice Adson. Here they are waiting for the sad news of the death of brother Adelma. But the misfortunes do not end there, and a new murder will not keep you waiting. At the request of the abbot, a visiting monk begins an investigation.

Original title:
The Name of the Rose

Actors:
John Turturro, Rupert Everett, Damian Hardung…

Country:
Italy, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
18+


Crimson Rivers (2018 – 2021)

The creators of the French series were inspired by the detective bestseller of the same name by the writer Jean-Christophe Grange. This time, the hero of the thriller, gloomy investigator Pierre Niemans, gets a new assistant. Partners work in a special police department and deal with mysterious crimes committed with particular cruelty. Such different colleagues – an elderly seasoned detective and a cheerful young girl – will make an excellent tandem, revealing the most terrible cases, from which even experienced policemen run cold.

Original title:
Les rivières pourpres

Actors:
Olivier Marshal, Erica Saint, Michelangelo Marchese…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
16+


Strike (TV series 2017 – 2020)

European detective project based on the novels of the literary star JK Rowling, who gave the world Harry Potter. Cormoran Strike is a war veteran who left the service for health reasons and works as a private detective. He lives a bachelor life, remembers to refill his liquor , sleeps in his small office, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. But at the same time, he masterfully unravels the most difficult cases in the company of his secretary, Robin Ellacott.

Original title:
Strike

Actors:
Tom Burke, Holliday Granger, Kerr Logan …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Clean Sheet (2017)

Our list of the best TV shows from Europe continues with a highly rated Belgian detective series. Mia suffers from memory loss after a car accident. The woman remembers who she is and where she comes from, but she does not remember what happened just yesterday. One day, Mia wakes up in a psychiatric hospital and learns the news that she is the only one who saw the missing Thomas Spectrom. Of course, all suspicions fall on her. To prove her innocence, Mia will have to recover her memories, no matter how terrible they are.

Original title:
Tabula Rasa

Actors:
Werle Batens, Stijn Van Opstal, Jeroen Perceval …

Country:
Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 8.0

Age Limits :
16+


Maigret (2016 – 2017)

Little known to most viewers, the British detective series will surprise you with the magnificent performance of European comedian Rowan Atkinson in the serious role of Police Commissioner Maigret. Each episode is a new mysterious crime and a new motive for the criminal. The crime story begins in 1955. Five women were killed in Montmartre. The commissioner decides to take a desperate step – to involve police women in the investigation as bait.

Original title:
Maigret

Actors:
Rowan Atkinson, Lucy Kohu, Sean Dingwall …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Midnight Sun (2016)

Although the miniseries never really caught on, this Scandinavian TV show is packed full of intrigue and boasts beautiful scenery and soundtracks. In the center of the plot are two detectives – an unsociable French police officer Kaina Zadi and a tactful, but not the most friendly District Attorney from Sweden, Anders Harnesky. Together they have to solve a whole series of murders, masterfully hiding their own secrets.

Original title:
Midnight Sun

Actors:
Leila Behti, Gustaf Hammarsten, Alben Grenholm …

Country:
Sweden, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Disappearance (2015)

2015, Lyon. Lia Morel is 17 years old and today is her birthday. In honor of the holiday, the parents allow the girl to take a longer walk. There’s a music festival in town , and Leah and her friends plan to have a big party. But the next morning, her bed is still empty. The police commissioner Molina, who recently transferred from Paris , takes up the case of the girl’s disappearance . Due to the lack of results, Leah’s parents begin their own detective investigation, gradually realizing that they did not know their daughter at all.

Original title:
Disparue

Actors:
Francois-Xavier Demaison, Pierre-Francois Martin-Laval, Alix Poisson…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Kapkan (2015 – 2019)

The Icelandic series will continue the top modern European detectives, taking the viewer to a snow-covered small town on the shores of the cold sea. A terrible find falls into the fishermen’s net – a part of the human body. At the same time, a severe storm hits the city, and the locals are cut off from the whole world. The police will have to work hard to solve the mystery of the brutal murder in complete isolation.

Original title:
Ófærð

Actors:
Oulavyur Darri Olafsson, Ilmur Kristjaunsdouttir, Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson…

Country:
Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Great Britain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Granchester (2014 – 2020)

English classic detective story in the best traditions of the genre with bewitching landscapes of the British provinces, the atmosphere of the post-war period and a worthy cast. Sidney Chambers is a priest from the village of Grantchester, near Cambridge. The man has a good heart, but the difficult fate of a war veteran. He loves life too much to devote it entirely to the service of the Lord. So Sydney throws herself headlong into a detective investigation when one of his parishioners dies under mysterious circumstances.

Original title:
Grantchester

Actors:
James Norton, Robson Green, Tessa Pick-Jones…

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Joe (2013)

The European detective will tell about the talented police officer Joe St. Clair from the homicide department. A stormy criminal youth made a seasoned detective out of a man with his own code of honor. In the family life of the hero, everything is difficult – Joe can not improve relations with his daughter Adele. The cop’s partner, young Detective Bayard, is skeptical of Joe’s work methods. However, it is they who will help the team solve a series of brutal murders.

Original title:
Jo

Actors:
Jean Reno, Jill Hennessy, Tom Austin …

Country:
France, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Bridge (2011 – 2018)

The popular European series won the hearts of fans from the very first episode. In the middle of a bridge on the border between Sweden and Denmark, a body was found, made up of parts belonging to two women. Police from neighboring countries are taking over the case. Martin Rude from Copenhagen is a sociable and good-natured Dane, and Sara Noren from Malmö is a strange young Swede with an autism spectrum disorder. Absolutely dissimilar people are forced to become partners.

Original title:
Bron/Broen

Actors:
Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia, Thure Lindhardt…

Country:
Sweden, Denmark, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.3, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Grand Hotel (2011 – 2013)

In the center of the plot are two young people. The heroes are at different levels of the social ladder, but this does not prevent them from falling in love with each other. Simple guy Julio arrived at the Grand Hotel to investigate the disappearance of his sister. Alicia Alarcón is the daughter of an influential owner of this hotel, engaged to the ambitious young man Diego. The heroes will have to face a series of mysterious murders and other unexpected events. The exciting incidents of the detective series were filmed on the territory of the royal palace of La Magdalena on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

Original title:
Gran Hotel

Actors:
Adriana Osores, Amaya Salamanca, Yon Gonzalez …

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 8.4

Age restrictions:
12+


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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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