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Mysteries Abroad: 6 French Crime Dramas to Binge Watch Tonight

Pay a visit to the country known for food, wine, art... and murder?

french crime dramas
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  • Photo Credit: BE-FILMS

Have you finished all the British mystery shows streaming services have to offer? Breezed through all the mysteries Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Germany, and the Nordic countries have available? Then it's time to turn to a less obvious suspect: France.

With beautiful scenery and a rich and enticing culture, French crime dramas will bring something fresh to your TV screen. In the mood for a forensic pathologist that converses with the dead? A single mother getting back in the justice game? A wine expert who doubles as a detective? We've got all the hits you need to see, available now on Netflix, Acorn, and Apple TV.

Lupin

While there are plenty of adaptations of our favorite literary detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot, this Netflix series takes a different approach. In 1905, French writer Maurice Leblanc created the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. Rather than adapting Leblanc's works, this series draws great inspiration from it as our new and modern gentleman thief, Assane Diop (Omar Sy) uses this fictional figure as a mentor of sorts in his quest to get vengeance against the wealthy.

Balthazar

New police commander Hélène Bach (Hélène de Fougerolles) must work with forensic pathologist Raphaël Balthazar (Tomer Sisley) as complicated murder cases unfold before them. But while Balthazar is a brilliant pathologist, he is as exasperating as he is tortured. He has insight like no other—imagining the ghosts of the dead speaking him to give him answers. But there's one case he's never been able to close: the murder of the love of his life. 

Candice Renoir

A recently divorced mother of four, Commandant Candice Renoir (Cécile Bois) has just returned to France after years away. As she steps back into life as a detective, she struggles to be taken seriously. Between juggling her kids' daily problems, keeping her team in line, and going head to head with her younger superior officer, Renoir has a lot on her plate. But this "female Columbo" brings a unique viewpoint to tough cases.

The Art of Crime (L'art du crime)

Policeman Antoine Verlay (Nicolas Gob) has been assigned to investigate art crimes. Unfortunately, he has very limited knowledge about art. This is where art expert Florence Chassagne (Eléonore Bernheim) comes in. Partnered up with Verlay, she's an indispensable resource. But besides the fact that the pair can't seem to stand each other, Florence's personal life comes with a flurry of problems. 

Blood of the Vine

Benjamin Lebel (Pierre Arditi) is a wine expert based in the Bordeaux region of France. He also spends his time as an amateur sleuth—it turns out the business of wine-making can be deadly. As Lebel and his assistants travel around the most picturesque locales of France, they land in one dangerous situation after another.

Spiral (Engrenages)

If you're looking for dark and occasionally gruesome, then this is the crime drama for you. This series follows criminal investigations in Paris from several different angles. With points of view from both the police and judges, Spiral provides a more complete look at criminal justice.