48 Best Crime, Mystery & Thriller Shows On Britbox: 2023 Edition
Welcome to our newly updated 2023 edition of best crime drama, mystery and thriller shows on Britbox. For this year, we have carefully vetted titles from classics to modern police procedural series to original thrillers.
Our latest Britbox list includes some of the best classic series out there such as Poirot’s Final Cases as well as acclaimed shows like Zen. What follows is a comprehensive list of the best and greatest on Britbox. You can check out our 2022 list here.
This is a Britbox Original series: Veteran detective Danny Frater is called to a hospital mortuary to identify a corpse only to find it’s his estranged daughter. Traumatized by the news she took her own life, Frater sets out to discover the truth about her death.
47. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
A Britbox Original series and based on Agatha Christie’s work: The mysterious death of a stranger prompts amateur detectives Bobby Jones (Will Poulter) and Frankie Derwent (Lucy Boynton) to set out to find the meaning behind the man’s enigmatic last words.
46. Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators
From BBC Studios, `Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators’, stars Mark Benton as the hard-boiled Frank Hathaway and Jo Joyner as his rookie sidekick Lu Shakespeare, and is created by Paul Matthew Thompson and Jude Tindall.
The unlikely pair forms a partnership as they investigate extramarital affairs, murderous magicians, abducted au pairs and more in Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwickshire. Despite their constant disagreements, the duo makes a good team in the action packed, fun-filled daytime drama.
45. Murder In Provence
A Britbox Original Series: Among the sun-drenched hills of southern France, chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his spontaneous partner and lover, Marine Bonnet, investigate the dark underbelly of the beautiful town of Aix.
44. Father Brown
Set in the early 1950s, while Britain is still suffering through the aftermath of the Second World War, the local priest at St Mary’s Catholic Church in fictional Cotswold village Kembleford often finds himself solving the town’s biggest crimes. In addition to his typical parish duties, Father Brown uses his love and understanding of other people to ensure justice is served, and the right person held accountable (though in some circumstances, not always to the standard of the law).
Assisted by the parish secretary and his own wit and sharp intellect, Father Brown works his way through a series of mishaps and intriguing clues to piece together the truth at every turn.
43. Sister Boniface Mysteries
Sister Boniface of Saint Vincent’s Convent helps solves the police solve the various crimes in the village of Great Slaughter, a small place known for it’s unexpectedly large body count, whilst also making wine and driving her vespa.
42. New Tricks
A BBC production, “New Tricks” dramatizes the work of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad, led by Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman and three previously retired police officers — Gerry Standing, Jack Halford and Brian Lane — whom Pullman recruited to reinvestigate unsolved crimes.
41. In Plain Sight
After a two-year murder spree, Peter Manuel was hanged in Glasgow. Follow this three-part true crime drama on Scotland’s first serial killer and the media circus that surrounded him.
40. Death in Paradise
Death in Paradise is a British-French crime drama television series created by Robert Thorogood. The show covers British detective Richard Poole (Ben Miller) who is assigned to investigate the murder of a British police officer on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie.
After he successfully finds the murderer, he is ordered by his supervisors to replace the victim and stay on as the head detective inspector (DI) of the island, solving new cases as they appear and being the object of many fish-out-of-water jokes.
Haunted by her past, flawed but brilliant criminal profiler Reyka Gama investigates brutal murders committed in the sugar cane fields of South Africa.
38. The City and the City
Based on China Mieville’s novel of the same name and written by the acclaimed Tony Grisoni, this four-part series follows the life of Extreme Crime Squad Inspector Tyador Borlú as he investigates the murder and mutilation of a foreign student.
Played by David Morrissey, Inspector Borlú is thrown into a political battle when evidence reveals that the victim was involved in the political turmoil of his city, Bes?el, and its twin city, Ul Qoma. Due to the citizens of each city being forbade to see each other, Borlú embarks on a dangerous journey from one reality to another.
37. The Long Call
Based on Ann Cleeves’ bestselling novel, the intriguing and flawed DI Matthew Venn is led back into the community he left behind – and the deadly secrets that lurk there.
36. 15 Days
Reversing the traditional investigative narrative, the crime thriller immediately flashes back to 15 days ago when a young man is gunned down. Secrets and lies fester within the family.
An infamous earl suspected of murder disappears, never to be seen again. Rory Kinnear and Michael Gambon star in this riveting drama that explores one of the greatest mysteries of modern times.
This crime drama is based on Georges Simenon’s world-renowned fictional French detective Jules Maigret. Rowan Atkinson plays the legendary detective who features in 75 books written by Simenon. Other leading cast members include Fiona Shaw, Lucy Cohu, Shaun Dingwall and Rufus Wright.
The first episode is based on the story `Maigret Sets a Trap’, in which the detective investigates the murder of four women found dead in the Montmarte region of Paris, during the summer of 1955. After setting up an elaborate trap, Maigret is able to uncover crucial details of the events.
With her caustic wit and singular charm, DCI Vera Stanhope and her trusted right-hand man face a series of captivating murder mysteries set against the breathtaking Northumberland landscape.
A thriller miniseries by Mike Bartlett, the multi-award winning creator of Doctor Foster, `Trauma’ focuses on the lives of two fathers, Dan and Jon, whose different lives collide after Dan’s 15-year-old son, Alex, is stabbed and dies in the trauma department attended by Jon.
Doctor Who star John Simm portrays the grieving Dan Bowker, a factory manager struggling to cope with an increasingly unraveling life, and Adrian Lester stars as family man Jon Allerton, an educated, high achieving, and confident trauma surgeon. Dan believes that Jon is responsible for the death of his teenage son, and striving for justice, begins to unpick the very fabric of Jon’s life in the fast-paced three-part miniseries.
31. Waking the Dead
A specialized team of police officers uses newfound evidence and new technology to try and solve cold cases. Led by the temperamental Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd, the experts work on bringing justice to murder victims and their families.
A Britbox Original: The best-selling Peter James novels make it to the screen in this two-part crime drama starring John Simm (Life on Mars, Doctor Who).
Haunted by the disappearance of his wife, tenacious yet troubled detective Roy Grace has a reputation for his unorthodox methods in pursuit of the truth. As he walks a career tightrope, he is assigned to a missing person case that becomes a race against time full of twists and turns.
29. Silent Witness
The critically acclaimed, award-winning BBC crime drama series, which first aired in 1996, focuses on a team of London-based forensic pathologists and scientists and their investigations into various crimes.
Emilia Fox stars as Dr Nikki Alexander, a skilled pathologist whose expertise in archaeology and forensic anthropology make her an invaluable asset. The team work together with police as they seek justice for the victims of violent crimes.
28. Doctor Foster
Suranne Jones (“Coronation Street”) stars as Dr. Gemma Foster in this mystery-drama series that leads the protagonist down a dark path. Dr. Foster seems to have the perfect life; she is a trusted GP, has many friends and a settled family — until her husband starts acting suspiciously.
The doctor begins to think her husband is having an affair and decides to investigate, but the secrets she uncovers tear her world apart. Gemma’s life goes into turmoil as she gets closer to discovering the truth, with her family and patients all suffering as a result of the shocking events that unfold.
One of British TV’s most beloved detectives, the blue-eyed maverick Jim Bergerac (John Nettles) returns to the Bureau des Étrangers.
Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser stars in this suspense-filled crime thriller driven by a personal tragedy and murder left unsolved – until now.
A Britbox Original: Emma Hedges needs to find out what happened to her mum. In a world of danger and deceit, will Emma have the nerve to follow the evidence no matter where it takes her?
This is one of our favorite series on Britbox that’s also available on some other streaming services. Shetland is a British television crime drama television series, made by ITV Studios for the BBC and broadcast on BBC One, that first broadcast on 10 March 2013. Initially based upon the novels of Ann Cleeves, the series was brought to screen by David Kane, who has remained a principal writer through all five series.
The series stars Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez, a detective inspector working for the Shetland police, Alison O’Donnell as Detective Sergeant Alison “Tosh” Macintosh, and Steven Robertson as Detective Constable Sandy Wilson. Mark Bonnar, Lewis Howden, Erin Armstrong, Julie Graham, and Anne Kidd are also credited as principal members of the cast.
The story takes place largely on the eponymous Scottish archipelago, although much of the series’ filming takes place on the Scottish mainland, with only some location filming actually taking place on Shetland. Five series have been broadcast to date.
Douglas Henshall won the 2016 BAFTA Scotland award for best actor for his role as Jimmy Perez, and the series received the award for Best TV Drama.
When ex-fireman Ken Boon’s services are advertised in the local paper with the words `Anything Legal Considered’, he finds himself taking on a variety of jobs. With help from ex-colleague Harry, his career of courier, bodyguard and PI begins.
23. Death On The Tyne
In this thrilling and hilarious sequel to Murder on the Blackpool Express, passengers and crew aboard an overnight ferry trip are bumped off one by one in grizzly circumstances.
22. Agatha Christie’s Poirot
David Suchet stars as the dapper, diminutive Belgian who solves the most serpentine cases with the sharpest of minds and the driest of wits.
21. Miss Marple
Gloriously remastered from 16mm film, see this series like never before. Who is the strangled woman in Gossington Hall? Fortunately for the Bantrys, Miss Marple is their neighbor. In this version, Joan Hickson plays the role of Miss Marple.
20. The Pembrokshire Murders
A Britbox Original: The extraordinary true-to-life pursuit of the most notorious serial killer in Welsh history.
19. Rosemary And Thyme
Brought together by heartache professionally (fired suddenly and underhandedly from her academic position) and personally (husband of more than 20 years left her for a younger woman), two plucky ladies plant the seeds for a brighter future.
Rosemary Boxer, who holds a doctorate in plant pathology, and Laura Thyme, a former police constable and avid gardener, discover their shared love of green-thumbness and start a gardening business. But as they restore various English gardens back to their lavish states, the inquisitive pair also happen upon mystery after mystery, and the more they dig the deeper the sleuthing gets.
18. The Coroner
One of our favorites on Britbox. Claire Goose stars as Jane Kennedy in this crime drama series. Jane, a former high-flying solicitor, returns to her hometown to work as a coroner. Her new position requires her to examine mysterious deaths and work alongside the local detective sergeant, Davey Higgins, who also happens to be an ex-boyfriend.
The coroner juggles the danger and intensity of her cases with the warm relationships she has with her colleagues, family and community. The lines are blurred, however, when Jane’s daughter Beth begins dating Matt, the best friend of a boy whose unexplained death she is investigating.
17. The Doctor Blake Mysteries
One of our favorites on Britbox. Accompanied by haunting memories of his service time in World War II, Dr Lucien Blake returns home to Australia after 30 years to take over his deceased father’s medical practice. As he deals with his own personal loss and changed by his war experiences, the wry, personable doctor performs his other role as police surgeon with gusto.
His unconventional and unpredictable manner unnerve some, but it becomes clear Dr Blake is ahead of his time in his use of forensic science, and in his own understanding of the human heart, to help solve murder mysteries in the country town of Ballarat.
We liked this Britbox show: It’s based on a novel by Scottish author Iain Banks. Stewart Gilmour returns to Stonemouth, a fictional seaport town north of Aberdeen, for a funeral. It is five years since he ran away to London after a sexual indiscretion at a wedding.
Stonemouth is controlled by two rival gangs, the Murstons and the MacAvetts, and Gilmour was engaged to a member of the former clan before he had to leave.
15. Murder On The Blackpool Express
In this feature-length mystery comedy, a crime writer takes fans on a coach tour of locations from his books. Soon, the passengers are faced with the possibility of a murderer on board.
Bancroft is a four part British television thriller first shown in December 2017. It features Sarah Parish as Elizabeth Bancroft, a well-respected Detective Superintendent, attempting to bring down a criminal gang whilst a cold case is re-investigated by young Detective Sergeant Katherine Stevens, played by Faye Marsay.
13. Prime Suspect
After a colleague suffers a near-fatal heart attack, Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison takes over an investigation into the murder of Delia Mornay, a young prostitute. The case is challenging enough in its own right, since Jane quickly determines that there is very little tangible evidence against the main suspect, an ex-convict.
Worse, however, she suspects there is a cover-up going on in her department, where her male team of investigators isn’t making a secret of their displeasure to be working for a woman. After a second body is discovered, what started as a single murder inquiry turns into an investigation stretching back over 10 years, forcing Jane to devote every waking hour to the case and taking a toll on her home life with her recently divorced live-in lover, Peter Rawlins.
12. Poirot’s Final Cases
If you’re into classics, make sure you check this show on Britbox. An ailing Poirot returns to Styles with Hastings nearly three decades after solving their first mystery there in order to prevent a serial killer from claiming more victims.
Zen is one of our favorite shows on Britbox. Detective Aurelio Zen, a smart and honest police detective in Rome, struggles to maintain his integrity amongst the bureaucracy and political interference in the department. He is in love with Tania Moretti, but long odds in the betting for who will sleep with her first.
10. Wild Bill
Six-time Golden Globe nominee Rob Lowe stars as once high-flying US police chief who relocates to East Lincolnshire, England to shake up the local police force, as well as his own life.
9. Life of Crime
Hayley Atwell stars in this gritty, urban crime drama as risk-taking and impulsive policewoman Denise Woods, who becomes obsessed with tracking down the killer of a teenage girl.
Written by Declan Croghan `Waking the Dead’, and `Ripper Street’, the three-episode series follows Woods’ progression through the Metropolitan Police Force over three decades and shows how choices she makes as a rookie officer have lasting and explosive repercussions on both her professional and personal life.
8. Maigret (1992)
In the first season of this 1992 show, which is less intense than the more recent version played by Rowan Atkinson, Inspector Maigret’s wife prods him to take a vacation. But there is no time to relax when a jewel thief is shot, and the only suspect is his mistress.
Other mysteries involve a burglar who sees a murder during a break-in, a teacher at odds with an entire village, an elderly woman whose schemes are mistaken for lunacy, and a serial killer targeting young women in Montmartre.
7. WPC 56
WPC 56 is a British television drama series on Britbox, written by Dominique Moloney. The stories feature the first woman police constables (WPC) to join Brinford Constabulary in 1956. Series one and two focus on Gina Dawson (Jennie Jacques) as she struggles to gain acceptance at a male-dominated police station and having to deal with the sexist attitudes that were commonplace at that time.
6. The Ruth Rendell Mysteries
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries is a British television crime drama series. Created by renowned author Ruth Rendell, the first six series focused entirely on Rendell’s main literary character Chief Inspector Reg Wexford, played by George Baker.
5. Little Boy Blue
This four-part crime drama is based on the true story of Rhys Jones, an 11-year-old boy who was murdered on his way home from football practice in 2007. The series is filmed in Liverpool, where the crime took place, and the North West, and stars Stephen Graham, Sinead Keenan, and Brian F O’Byrne.
The drama focuses on the aftermath of this tragic event, the ordeal Rhys’s parents endured, and how Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly was tasked with leading the investigation and bringing the murderer and associates to justice.
4. The Tower
Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones) and Jimmy Akingbola (Kate & Koji) star in this eye-opening crime thriller based on the acclaimed novel by former detective Kate London. DSI Sarah Collins sets out to uncover the truth around two grisly deaths, and the investigation takes her into the dark heart of policing.
One of the U.K.’s longest-running series, “Taggart” is a gritty detective show based in Glasgow, Scotland. The show follows detectives in the Maryhill CID of Strathclyde Police as they investigate crimes, often murders. The personal relationships of the officers and their families is also explored in the series. This is one those shows that you can only watch in only few places and Britbox is one of them.
2. Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
The Orson Welles radio dramatization of the Agatha Christie story. After a woman is found fatally overdosed, a rumor spreads linking her to Roger Ackroyd, who is subsequently found dead. Coincidence? That is left to Monsieur Hercule Poirot to find out.
1. The Bay
When Family Liaison Officer Lisa Armstrong is assigned to a missing persons investigations, it initially seems like any other – tragic, but all too familiar. This time, it is especially challenging for her not to get emotionally involved.