What's the best mystery series (that I can watch right now)?

I’m feeling really in the mood for a high quality tv mystery series. I don’t feel too picky about what the setting or time period are. I just don’t want to have to sift through a bunch of mediocre episodes hoping to get to a great one. I want the highest possible level of consistent quality.

Also, I want it to be streamable right now for free. Which appears to put Columbo, for one, out of the picture.

I have a subscription to Amazon Prime, a Hulu account, Netflix, and Acorn. I think the latter gives me access to Poirot, as well as Miss Fisher, Foyle’s War, and some of the others folks have been talking about here lately (the Canadian one, and the New Zealand one?).

But which is the cream of the crop? If I have a hundred other things I want to watch, which one is least likely to waste my time?

I’m no mystery expert by any stretch, but given your criteria, I’d suggest Doctor Blake over Miss Fisher or Murdoch. I love all three, but the tone leans toward the more serious end or less whimsical end for Blake. For a more limited series, my wife suggests Bletchley Circle.

My vote is for Miss Fisher. As a point of personal preference, I always bounce off Foyle’s War a bit, every time I’ve watched. Miss Fisher has terrific casting, huge budget production values, and some terrific dialogue and scripting. And there is a knowing, sly tone to things that can come off as breezy and funny at times…but there’s a depth to it all that reveals as the series progresses.

Would The Wire count as mystery?

BBC Modern Sherlock with Cumberbatch is on Netflix - that was a lot of fun

Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series, if you haven’t seen it. Impeccable period detail, amazingly accurate and evocative portrayal of the Conan Doyle works, and fantastic acting. Makes today’s Sherlock look like a CW series:

Foyle’s War is so good! The 90 minute episodes can make it tougher to squeeze in an episode, though.

I have watched all of The Wire!

I guess this is a good clarification: A good cop show or a drama series with a mystery (like, say, Twin Peaks) is not what I’m looking for. I specifically want to watch self-contained single-episode mystery stories, mostly.

Thanks for the ideas so far, everyone! Keep the recommendations coming, if you have them!

Check out the Swedish (original) version of Wallander. Each episode is about 2 hrs, like a mini-movie. IIRC, it’s on Netflix.

I always liked the Poirot mysteries with David Suchet as Poirot and I thought they were available on Amazon Prime. Well, they are, but apparently you also need a subscription to Britbox in order to view them and that’s $6.99 per month. Bummer.

Thank god I already bought them years ago (? Or stupid me?).

They are really fantastic as well.

Britbox required for the 1985 Sherlock series, as well.

Yeah, I’ve had that subscription for a while now.

Well, while that show is fun, I wouldn’t say its a good mystery series really. The showrunners were more interested in the meta narrative of MODERN SHERLOCK HOLMES than any actual mysteries or crime stories.

As a solid detctive show I just finished and really enjoyed the Endeavour series. Basically its a prequel show to an older British detective show called Morse and is set in Oxford during the sixties. I never watched the original Morse or its spinoff Lewis so can’t speak to those, but Endeavour is consistently good.

You can watch Columbo free (with ads) on Amazon Prime through its IMDB FREE TV section or whatever its called. I just blew through the whole (70s version of the) series a few months ago. I re-watch everything every couple years. Favorite detective show of all time.

I second this one too.

Jonathan Creek?

More of a serial drama around central mysteries that span a season each than a mystery procedural, but the wife and I both adore BBC’s Broadchurch.

It can be real heavy, though. Columbo it is not.

Broadchurch is great. I also strongly recommend Unforgotten. There are three seasons and each season is a season-long cold case mystery. We loved it.

I’ve heard good things about The Sinner as well, though I haven’t watched it myself. Looks like it’s available on Netflix.

I very much enjoyed Broadchurch. Season 2 is the weakest for me, but that’s not saying much as they’re all good. The bad guy from Jessica Jones is fun to watch as a grumpy detective here.