To call our love of a good mystery show an obsession is an understatement. The shock of the crime, the search for clues, the thrill of the hunt—it’s intoxicating. Better yet: It makes for enthralling entertainment. We know you love a killer mystery series as much as we do. So we scoured the corners of Netflix in pursuit of the best mystery shows on Netflix. From under-the-radar gems like Hinterland and Deep Water to must-watch crime dramas like Mindhunter, you'll find plenty of intriguing television for you next binge session. So sit back, relax, and dim the lights. Here are our favorite mystery shows on Netflix you can stream tonight.
This post was updated in January 2020.
Criminal: United Kingdom
This three-episode series covers three different cases within the United Kingdom, and ties in with an overarching franchise that covers cases in the countries of Germany, France, and Spain—more on that soon. In the first episode of Criminal: United Kingdom, investigators interrogate the calm and composed Dr. Edgar Fallon (David Tennant), who is accused of the sexual assault and murder of his stepdaughter. Episode two centers on Stacey Doyle (Hayley Atwell), whose story doesn’t add up in light of the accusation that she’s tried to poison her brother-in-law. In the final episode, time is running out as interrogators question truck driver Jay Muthassin (Youssef Kerkour) about the whereabouts of an abandoned trailer full of illegal immigrants.
This historical crime drama takes place in the 1940s. As a luxury cruise ship travels from Spain to Brazil, bodies start to pile up after a series of strange murders. Aboard the ship are the Villanueva sisters, Eva (portrayed by Ivana Baquero) and Carolina (portrayed by Alejandra Onieva), who start to unravel unsettling family secrets as they look into the killings.
This anthology series follows the same format as the one above, though all of the crimes take place in Germany. The first episode covers the interrogation of Jochen Müller, who is not only a suspect in the case of a missing handyman, but in hot water after skeletal remains were found beneath one of his projects in East Berlin. Yilmaz Yussef (Deniz Arora) is questioned in the second episode in relation to a clear cut domestic violence case—but his lawyer (Christian Berkel) quickly steps in to twist the narrative. In the final episode of Criminal: Germany, investigators put their all into an interview with Claudia Hartmann (Nina Hoss), a serial killer’s lover who may know the location of a victim’s body.
Weaving together two timelines twenty years apart, this six-episode French mystery takes place in the Alps. When a group of friends reunite in 2017 for the happy occasion of a wedding, a rockslide cuts them off from the rest of the world. But was it a coincidental natural disaster, or a dark trap set in motion to seek revenge for a terrible past deed?
More from the Criminal anthology, this series takes place in France. The first episode centers on Émilie Weber who sits with the police to give her account of the Bataclan massacre, which resulted in her boyfriend’s death—but something about her story is a little off. An accidental death at a construction site is the focal point of episode two, in which executive Caroline Solal (Nathalie Baye) seems to have a deeper connection to the victim than previously believed. The third episode is about suspect Jérôme Lacombe (Jérémie Renier), who investigators believe committed a gruesome hate crime.
This new murder mystery series comes from Lebanon. Acclaimed author Younis Jebran (Bassel Khayyat) finds himself in hot water after a murder spree eerily echoes the plot of one of his crime novels. In order to get to the bottom of the dark events, he’ll have to uncover dangerous and unknown enemies.
13 Reasons Why
Technically a teenage whydunit, this Selena Gomez-produced series struck binge-worthy gold with its story of a high schooler who reveals her motivations for committing suicide over 13 highly emotional cassette tapes. The show has been intensely divisive among viewers. Some believe that the makers are unintentionally glorifying suicide; others hail it for starting a conversation.
Last in the Criminal series is the Spain series. The first episode tracks the interrogation of Isabel Ferradas Pérez (Carmen Machi), a dog breeder whose lover has suspiciously disappeared. Episode two follows Carmen (Inma Cuesta), a girl who may be hiding important information after her autistic sister drowned in the bath. The final episode centers on notorious drug dealer Carmelo Al Huzaini (Eduard Fernández), who was brought in for possession of cocaine in order to be interrogated about a recent terrorist attack.
The first 12 seasons of the hit television series Criminal Minds is available now for streaming on Netflix. This dark and exciting crime procedural tracks cases given to the F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Unit. Brilliant profilers race to figure out the motives and moves of heinous criminals before they strike again. The series features the likes of Matthew Gray Gubler, Shemar Moore, Thomas Gibson, and Joe Mantegna, with the incredible Mandy Patinkin in the first couple of seasons.
Based on the by Ken Bruen, this Irish mystery series is comprised of 9 episodes each an hour and a half long—all of which are now available on Netflix. Jack Taylor (Iain Glen) is an ex-cop from Galway who launches a new career as a private investigator. Taking on cases that have been overlooked by the police, Taylor tackles disappearances, kidnappings, and murders.
This hit Showtime series was inspired by the by Jeff Lindsay. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police. However, on his down time he leads the life of a serial killer whose victims are all murderers he feels need to be brought to justice. Juggling the problems of his personal life with his wife (Julie Benz) and sister (Jennifer Carpenter) by daylight, Dexter hunts criminals like the gruesome Ice Truck Killer and the notorious Trinity Killer by night.
The first 15 seasons of this popular crime procedural are available for streaming on Netflix. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Washington D.C. takes on high-profile criminals and terrorists. The Major Case Response Team is led by Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), and his offbeat team roster includes Caitlin Todd (Sasha Alexander), Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray).
A Tokyo detective, Kenzo Mori (Takehiro Hira), travels to London in search of his brother, Yuto (Yôsuke Kubozuka), who was thought to be dead. Not only is Yuto very much alive, he’s also been accused of the murder of a Yakuza member. Tokyo is on the brink of a gang war. As Kenzo follows his brother’s trail and navigates London’s criminal underworld, he finds allies in Detective Constable Sarah Weitzmann (Kelly Macdonald) and half-Japanese sex-worker Rodney Yamaguchi (Will Sharpe).
In this buzzy new spy thriller set in the 1960s, an Israeli clerk named Eli Cohen (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) transforms into a secret agent and goes deep undercover on a perilous mission in Syria. Based on the real-life story of Israel’s top Mossad agent Eli Cohen, this limited series is sure to keep you glued to your screen.
In this icy Nordic noir import from Finland, Pihla Viitala plays homicide detective Sofia Karppi. Karppi is still healing from her own tragic loss when she begins an investigation into a woman’s murder. Soon, she uncovers a trail of clues that connects the victim to a powerful construction company in Helsinki.
Imagine a town so isolated that it has no cell phone reception and no GPS tracking—even compasses go haywire. Now imagine that town is on the outskirts of a forest where inexplicable events and grisly crimes occur, and you’ll come close to the eerie setting that is Villefranche, a community with a murder rate six times the national average.
Based on the true crime book by legendary FBI agent and criminal profiler John E. Douglas, Mindhunter is one of Netflix's most popular shows. The mystery of Mindhunter isn’t so much about the crimes committed by infamous serial killers (although that certainly is a factor), but about the mystery of the mind of a killer. Portrayals of real-life murderers appear throughout this offering from David Fincher, including Ed Kemper, the Co-Ed Killer. The hotly anticipated second season of Mindhunter is out now.
Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman star in this supernatural mystery show based on Maggie Stiefvater’s book of the same name. Detective Harry Ambrose (Pullman) returns to his hometown in rural New York to examine a chilling case: a husband-and-wife couple murdered by their young son. As Ambrose searches for a motive, he discovers there’s nothing ordinary about the young suspect or the darkness hanging over his hometown.
The Frozen Dead
How and why did the DNA of Julian Hirtmann, a serial killer who’s been locked up for over a decade, end up at an active crime scene? The Frozen Dead opens with this perplexing mystery, and it only gets more puzzling from there. Based on the novel by Bernard Minier, this icy thriller will chill you to your core.
This period mystery shows us the seedier side of London. In 1889, the city seethes with panic as Jack the Ripper stalks the streets, viciously murdering as he pleases. Desperate to stop the killings, Whitechapel’s police force teams up with an eclectic cast of characters, including a former surgeon and the madam of a local brothel.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Watson—what more do you need? In this award-winning BBC update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective series, Holmes and Watson set out across present-day London to crack cases and stop Sherlock’s arch-nemesis, Moriarty.
Dexter’s Michael C. Hall stars as a grieving widower in this nailbiter of a miniseries. When his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, pediatric surgeon Tom Delaney launches a frantic search—one that exposes the buried secrets of numerous townspeople, including Jenny herself.
Loosely based on the short stories by G.K. Chesterton, Father Brown features a crime-solving priest whose occupation gives him a unique outlook on earthly justice. Mild-mannered and compassionate, Father Brown often finds himself at odds with a bumbling police inspector, but his shrewd sleuthing skills are undeniable.
A slow-burner about conflicted cops solving crimes among the austere woodlands of Wales, Hinterland looks a lot like your favorite detective dramas. What sets this one apart is its methodical Nordic noir and that it’s the first Welsh-made drama available to U.S. bingers. Warning: heavy accents ahead.
Related: 13 Thrilling Nordic Noir Novels
Mindhunter’s Anna Torv stars in this Australian political mystery show. Torv plays Harriet Dunkley, a muckraking journalist who fights for truth and transparency in Australian politics and the halls of power, despite threats to her life.
Black Earth Rising
Michaela Coel and John Goodman star in this BBC legal thriller. Coel plays Kate Ashby, a legal investigator in the London law offices of barrister Michael Ennis (Goodman). As a child, Kate escaped the Rwandan genocide and was adopted by a human rights attorney. Years later, Kate’s adoptive mother accepts a case prosecuting an African militia leader. Now Kate must confront her past as she takes on the war criminal.
As its moniker suggests, Broadchurch is rooted in religion, particularly, the sins of man and how those sins refuse to stay buried. When authorities find the body of a murdered 11-year-old boy, their sleepy town of Broadchurch gets ripped apart. Get ready to worship at the altar of Olivia Coleman. The show in its entirety is streaming on Netflix, so you have no reason not to binge.
Related: 10 British Crime Dramas to Die For
Lydia Wilson stars in this supernatural British mystery show. Wilson plays Matilda Grey, a skilled cellist whose mother commits suicide. As Grey seeks answers about her mother’s death, she uncovers haunting family secrets and connections to the disappearance of young girl in a small town in Wales.
Count your blessings before diving into this otherworldly mystery show from South Korea. Song Seung-heon plays a grim reaper tasked with tracking down his fugitive partner. In so doing, the hereafter detective gets caught up in mysteries of life and death and cold cases stretching back twenty years.
Noah Taylor and Yael Stone star in this Australian series based on a staggering wave of real-life hate murders targeting gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. When a gay man is murdered near Bondi Beach, detectives Tori Lustigman (Stone) and Nick Manning (Taylor) investigate. Soon, more bodies turn up, with the slayings linking back to a spate of mysterious deaths and hate-fueled homicides in the 1980s and 90s and the disappearance of Lustigamn’s brother.
Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen) is one of Finland’s most skilled investigators. He hopes his move to a small town near the border of Russia will lead to quieter days and more time with his family. Instead, he soon finds himself ensnared in a series of brutal murder mysteries.
Stay out of the forest, kids. When a young girl goes missing from her village near the Ardennes Forest, local authorities begin their search. Assisting in the investigation is the missing girl’s teacher, who had her own harrowing experience in the woods many years ago. It isn’t long before deep-rooted secrets are unearthed.
A Brussels detective and his daughter move back to the Belgian town where he grew up, though their welcome home is cut short when the body of a football player is pulled from the nearby water source. Incest, S&M, and things that will shock even the most hardened mystery viewer make this series a standout. Also know: This one’s in French.
No one can be trusted in this powerfully acted four-part BBC crime drama set in the remote Scottish Highland village of Braeston. When newlyweds Adam and Grace are found brutally murdered, family members and neighbors are shattered. Detectives search for answers, exposing friction between the families. Meanwhile, a bloodied man appears in town after crashing his car—a man who may be the killer.
Hotel Beau Séjour
If this list is any indication, Belgian noir is having a moment, although this 10-episode, subtitled series takes a rather different approach: the murderee looks for her own murderer. Meet Kato Hoeven, the teenage protagonist who awakens to find she’s actually dead in a bathtub. Unraveling the events of Kato’s murder, even with her ghost to help, is a complicated and thrilling process.
This soapy Spanish mystery is perfect for those who wanted Downton Abbey to have just a bit more murder. Grand Hotel is set in 1906 and follows Julio, a young servant at the hotel. He’s taken the job after his sister disappeared while working there. He changes his name to hide his true identity while trying to uncover just what happened to his sister. There’s plenty of cross-class mingling, scandal, and intrigue along the way. The show is being remade for American audiences by Eva Longoria, with Season 1 premiering in June 2019 on ABC.
Damages’ creators go from urban jungle to a sweltering labyrinth of mangroves in the Florida Keys, where the Rayburns, once-proud pillars of their community, tirelessly try to keep their secrets from bubbling to the surface. Trust, there’s misery in paradise. And you know what they say about misery.
Did he, or didn’t he? That is the question in Ray McKinnon’s haunting character study about a small-town convict’s life after exoneration, the torment that continues to imprison him, and the innocent and not-so-innocent people who surround him. The answer? Everyone’s guilty of something.
What begins with the sodden body of a homecoming queen washing ashore the banks of an idyllic town unfurls into one of the most iconic murder mysteries of the ‘90s. Stylized and often just plain odd, it’s straight out of the mind of David Lynch. Bonus: The acclaimed new season is currently airing on Showtime, as well as 1992’s prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
For a truly eerie experience, hit play on this French atmospheric take on zombies. This zombie show forces viewers to actually use their own brains rather than watch undead monsters eat others’. About a group of loved ones who return home years after their own deaths, it’s exactly what we want to watch alone. In the dark. Though the show aired for two seasons, only the first (and best) is available on Netflix.
Featured still from "Perfume" via Constantin Film