10 Best Detective Shows Of The 21st Century On Netflix (2024)

The genre of detective shows has captivated viewers over the years with their intricate mystery and flawed, but excellent characters. Today, this genre of entertainment has expanded more than ever before because of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, which grant viewers with an array of highly popular detective series to watch whenever they want.

From the classic Sherlock Holmes updated with contemporary design to haunting true crime tales and new formats, Netflix offers a vast selection of new detective shows which stand out as among the desirable among the accurate. If you’re searching for an engaging, thrilling show to keep you hooked take a look at the expertly-crafted and highly acclaimed detective shows currently available on Netflix.

What Makes a Great Detective Show?

The desirable detective series tend to possess certain traits common, which attract viewers and keeps them returning episode after episode

  • complex mystery A captivating, stimulating case is at the heart of any great detective drama. It doesn’t matter if it’s a complete episode or re-runs every season, a fascinating in-progress mystery instantly draws our attention.
  • Brilliant but flawed protagonist We like following intriguing, complicated detectives, who might have a social awkwardness or battle within demons yet possessing savant ability to solve crime. Think Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Gregory House.
  • Unexpected surprises Unexpected twists desirable shows leave us wondering through red herrings as well as unexpected surprises that can flip the case upside down. They challenge the viewer’s expectations and steer clear of formulas that are predictable.
  • Beautiful images Cinematic direction to stunning cinematography the aesthetic style draws us further into a tense tale and ambiance. The dark palettes, the shadowy lighting and moody scenes increase the tension.

The series that we have selected are successful every aspect, with unique and compelling characters, complex characters, clever twists and stunning aesthetics which have not just impressed reviewers but also enthralled millions of loyal viewers.

Methodology: How We Chose the Best Detective Shows

There are so many fantastic detective series available to stream What made us decide to pick the 10 detective shows that are that we have chosen to feature in this article as the most desirable? The shows we evaluated were based on these factors:

  • Critic reviews: Top-rated detective series on Netflix are highly acclaimed by their writing, directing as well as acting quality. The critics’ reviews were consulted from sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, as well as the individual critique publications in analysing which shows make it to the highest levels.
  • The popularity and the viewership: While some of the excellent programs are off the radar, others are viewed by millions of viewers and are a major part of pop culture and have the highest ratings in terms of viewership. The shows we included had popularity and critical acclaim.
  • Awards and other recognitions: from Golden Globes and Emmys to Edgar Awards for mystery genre writing, we incorporated the major awards for entertainment when spotlighting outstanding detective programs.
  • The release date is in this century: The focus of this list is on programs produced between the decade between 2000 and 2010 which reflect the top quality programs of the time in the history of the television. The list is geared toward classics from the present day.
  • Available currently on Netflix: Then, last however, every one of the critically acclaimed detective shows you’ll find on our site are available for streaming through Netflix from 2024. The viewers are able to start viewing the most popular shows now!

After we’ve explained the process we used to create this top collection of detective series Let’s dive into the selection! The shivering and thought-provoking programs currently available on Netflix should be on every fan of the mystery genre’s tv. Do not miss these shows If you enjoy following along with intricate investigations that are with twists and turns.

Best Detective Shows on Netflix

10. Bodyguard

Bodyguard / 10 Best Detective Shows Of The 21st Century On Netflix

Bodyguard follows David Budd, a military vet working for London’s Metropolitan Police who is assigned to protect a controversial politician he despises. This thrilling series subverts expectations at every turn, culminating in a riveting finale you won’t see coming. Created by acclaimed screenwriter Jed Mercurio, Bodyguard hooked viewers when it premiered on the BBC in 2018 before becoming a breakout hit on Netflix. Richard Madden’s intense performance earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor. With heart-stopping tension and a provocative take on contemporary geopolitics, Bodyguard makes for an exhilarating binge.

9. The Alienist

The Alienist

Set in 1896 New York City, The Alienist depicts the newly invented field of psychology being applied using criminal profiling to solve grizzly serial killer murders. Based on the popular novel by Caleb Carr, this visually stunning psychological thriller has won two Emmy Awards for its elaborate Gilded Age production design. Performances by Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning have also earned acclaim, brilliantly bringing to life an ensemble of misfit investigators determined to catch an elusive killer terrorizing the city.

8. Sherlock


This smash hit BBC series brings Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character into the 21st century with Sherlock Holmes solving mystifying crimes in modern-day London alongside war vet Dr. John Watson. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, Sherlock puts a fresh spin on the classic detective stories through contemporary cases involving technology, media, and online culture. Playful directing and writing has garnered major awards attention, with episodes helmed by Oscar nominees Paul McGuigan and Alex Garland. Thanks to its smart plotting and Cumberbatch’s magnetic, Emmy-winning performance, Sherlock has earned a massive global following.

7. The Sinner

The Sinner

The Sinner intrigues viewers with a new unsolved murder case investigated by Detective Harry Ambrose each season. Based on Petra Hammesfahr’s novel, the anthology series hooked critics and audiences with its first installment starring Jessica Biel as a woman who suddenly commits a public homicide with no explanation why. This compelling “whydunit” structure continues with Bill Pullman earning rave reviews as Ambrose, a detective haunted by his own demons even as he obsessively puzzles out what motivates ordinary people to kill. The third and most recent season culminates in a nail-biting ending that leaves audiences questioning their own assumptions about the characters. With genuine suspense and moral ambiguity, The Sinner always keeps us guessing.

6. Unbelievable

Inspired by a Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica article, Unbelievable follows tenacious detectives hunting down a serial rapist while spotlighting the trauma of his teen victim, Marie, who faces doubt and accusations of lying from the very people meant to protect her. Booksmart director Susan Johnson helms this Netflix limited series that earned widespread critical acclaim for its nuanced, sensitive handling of sexual assault cases. Toni Collette and Merritt Wever have earned Emmy nods for their performances as detectives chasing inconsistent leads to catch an elusive assailant targeting women across state lines. Their perseverance provides a cathartic contrast to Marie’s mistreatment, driving home the importance of believing survivors.

5. Mindhunter

Legendary director David Fincher brings his dark, stylish vision to Mindhunter—a riveting crime series tracking the early days of criminal profiling at the FBI. Set in the late 1970s, two ambitious agents launch an unusual unit interviewing incarcerated serial killers to understand their disturbed psychology. Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany turn in compelling performances as agents using these shocking insights to solve open cases. Staying true to history, the methods they pioneer ultimately lead to profiling notorious murderers like the BTK Killer. Enthralling and visually stunning, Mindhunter grips viewers as it bridges the gap between classic detective work and modern psychological profiling.

4. The Fall

The fall

This chilling psychological thriller follows two hunters: Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson pursuing an active serial killer, and the killer Paul Spector stalking his next victim. After premiering on BBC Two, The Fall‘s first season gripped critics with Gillian Anderson’s searing performance as the cool and complex Gibson, landing her first Emmy nomination. Set against the eerie, autumnal backdrop of Belfast, the cat and mouse game between Gibson and Spector ratchets up the suspense across three seasons directed by Jakob Verbruggen. Beautifully shot and terrifically acted, The Fall enthralls as Gibson races against time to catch a merciless killer terrorizing the city by night.

3. Broadchurch

When the corpse of an 11-year-old boy washes up along their idyllic coastal town’s beach, two detectives’ painful investigation unearths secrets and suspicion that threaten to tear the community apart. Starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant as the lead detectives, Broadchurch employs the conventions of British murder mysteries while subverting viewer expectations with unpredictable twists across three seasons. Tennant and Colman boast evocative chemistry as their characters chase leads, suffer emotionally, and contend with ambitious newcomers aiming to undermine the investigation. Underscored by melancholy waves crashing along rugged cliffs, Broadchurch tells an unforgettable, genre-defining story about the ripple effects from one child’s tragic murder.

2. Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer

The outrageous real-life saga at the center of Making a Murderer captivated global audiences when it premiered in 2015, becoming a pop culture phenomenon. Over 10 riveting episodes, it closely examines the controversial conviction of Steven Avery for murder after he previously served 18 years for a rape he did not commit. Filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi spent a decade documenting the tangled case, gaining intimate access to all sides from the defense lawyers to the grieving victim’s family to the small-town police accused of framing an innocent man. Unflinching and binge-worthy, Making a Murderer highlights glaring problems in the U.S. criminal justice system through one intensely local murder trial turned media sensation.

1. The Killing

The Killing

Our top pick for the best detective show on Netflix is The Killing, an addictive crime drama following a deeply flawed detective obsessed with solving the brutal murder of a young local girl. Set against an ominous rainy backdrop of Seattle, the series premiered on AMC before moving to Netflix for its final season. Breakout actress Mireille Enos earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her stoic portrait of Sarah Linden, a homicide detective barely holding her own life together even as she puzzles out clues leading to the killer of Rosie Larsen. Billy Campbell co-stars as an ambitious city politician tied to the case. Featuring clever red herrings while building an evocative mood of dread, The Killing presents a darkly gripping modern take on classic noir, never losing steam across four tightly plotted seasons.

More Great Detective Shows Worth Watching

While the 10 series highlighted in this post stand out as the absolute best detective shows currently on Netflix, the streaming service offers several other acclaimed and popular mystery series worth checking out.

On Netflix you can also find modern classics like the original Law & Order and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation that set the framework for police procedurals. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Agatha Christie’s Poirot offer twisty cases in historical settings.

For political intrigue, try Kiefer Sutherland as a government agent in 24 or Robin Wright as a cunning congresswoman in House of Cards. In terms of animation, the Japanese mystery anime Death Note pits two masterminds against each other.

Some other hits like How to Get Away With Murder and The Stranger boast jaw-dropping twists episode-to-episode. And Netflix is always adding even more binge-worthy detective shows to its expansive library.

With this wide range of murder mysteries, crime dramas, and psychological thrillers, Netflix has you covered if you are a diehard fan always hunting for your next true crime fix.

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