When it comes to British mystery shows, there are a lot of options to choose from. But if you love Father Brown, you likely want a few features front and center: an eccentric or unlikely detective, cozy mystery vibes, and a dash of comedy. They’re easy to watch with characters you come to love, making them the perfect escapist entertainment. We found eleven shows we think you’ll adore just as much as Father Brown.
Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a consulting detective in modern-day London. Assisted by his flatmate and friend, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), they work to not only solve crimes but convince Metropolitan Police Service Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves) of their value to the department. Though the series only lasted four seasons, it’s one of the most popular British mystery series with stellar casting and captivating performances.
Death in Paradise (2011-present)
When a British police officer is murdered on the fictional Caribbean Saint Marie, the Metropolitan Police in London sends Detective Inspector Richard Poole (Ben Miller) to investigate. But he doesn’t expect to be reassigned to the island after he finds the murderer. Over the course of twelve seasons and several replacements, the show has found clever ways to subvert the formula that makes it a charming success.
Hamish Macbeth (1995-1997)
Hamish Macbeth (Robert Carlyle) loves being the police constable in the small town of Lochdubh. So much so, that he does everything he can to avoid a promotion. With a preference for keeping the peace rather than upholding the exact letter of the law, Macbeth polices the town on his own terms. Until the larger Inverness police force gets involved. Though the series ends after three seasons, Macbeth’s competence while feigning incompetence makes it well worth the watch.
Sister Boniface Mysteries (2022-present)
Set in early 1960’s England, Sister Boniface (Lorna Watson) is a Catholic nun in the fictional town Great Slaughter. She makes wine, attends her religious duties at St. Vincent’s Convent, and thanks to her PhD in forensic science, she also helps the local police force as a scientific advisor. A spin-off from the Father Brown series, Sister Boniface was first introduced in season 1, episode 6. One season is currently available with a second on its way.
Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green) is overworked. But luckily, Anglican vicar Sydney Chambers (James Norton) was a former Scots Guards officer. Together, they make unlikely partners to solve crime in the small Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester. In season four, Reverend Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) replaces Chambers, but the quirky pairing of the gruff inspector and intuitive clergy continues.
Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators (2018-2022)
Former-Detective Inspector Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) is now a private investigator riddled with debt. When former client Luella Shakespeare’s (Jo Joyner) husband is killed at their wedding reception, Luella is the prime suspect. Partnering with Hathaway, the pair try to solve the murder and clear Luella’s name. Luella eventually buys the agency, embarking on more crime-solving adventures with Hathaway.
Dirk Gently (2010-2012)
Dirk Gently (Stephen Mangan) runs a holistic detective agency. He claims it’s based on the principles of quantum mechanics, but many are suspicious of his random chance and interconnected encounters. Still, he and his sidekick, Richard MacDuff (Darren Boyd), produce surprising results. The series was cancelled after two seasons, but the show was revived in 2016 for two more seasons.
Rosemary & Thyme (2003-2007)
When expert botanist Rosemary Boxer (Felicity Kendal) is hired to figure out why her friend’s trees are diseased, she meets ex-police officer and avid gardener, Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris). But trees quickly become the least of their problems when a murder occurs. Good thing no one notices the gardener. As they dig through the soil, in various gardens, they listen for clues to solve crime while their friendship blossoms.
The Doctor Blake Mysteries (2013-2017)
After a thirty-three-year absence, Dr. Lucien Blake (Craig McLachlan) returns home to take over his father’s medical practice—and his role as police surgeon. As he struggles to adjust to life in his father’s shadow, he has to navigate peace in his house with receptionist and housekeeper Jean Beazley (Nadine Garner) while helping the local police solve crime.
Jonathan Creek (1997-2016)
Pushy investigative journalist Maddy Magellan (Caroline Quentin) repeatedly persuades illusion master Jonathan Creek (Alan Davies) to help her solve seemingly paranormal crimes. His work as creative consultant for a stage magician means that Creek has the ability to unravel tricks that seem mysterious and magical to others. With a focus on how the crime was committed and featuring impossible crime set-ups like locked room mysteries and paranormal theft, Jonathan Creek is a quirky and light-hearted show.
Queens of Mystery (2019-present)
Matilda Stone (Olivia Vinall/Florence Hall) is assigned to be the new constabulary of her small hometown village in Wildemarsh, England. But she has an advantage. Her three aunts Cat (Julie Graham), Jane (Siobhan Redmond), and Beth (Sarah Woodward) all write mystery novels. They put their collective experience to good use, helping Matilda solve crime—whether she wants their help or not.