Entertainment

The Best Historical Mystery Series  

Ranker TV
276 votes 62 voters 2.8k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up the best period detective series or shows about the mysteries of specific previous era, that have aired on television.

The best period detective series and historical mystery shows let you experience a different time period while also enjoying a good whodunnit. Whether they're a scripted drama or a mystery documentary they offer intrigue and often some great costumes. If you’ve been looking for the best historical mysteries to add some excitement to your TV nights, this list of the period detective and mystery series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.

From BBC detective dramas to docuseries that offer plenty of historical reenactment, many of the best mystery shows are set during specific time periods. Thanks to the popularity of detective novels from authors like Agatha Christie, there are several shows based on books, like Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Agatha Christie's Poirot - and of course Sherlock Holmes. Other historical mystery shows dramatize famous mysteries such as Jack The Ripper while offering insight from historians. Other shows just know that history itself offers many mysteries and place their detectives in dashing times that offer historical drama and great costumes along with the crime-solving.

Which shows balance mystery and history the best? Vote up the best historical mystery and detective shows, vote down the shows that don't solve the mystery of a good period piece detective series, and add any mysteries set in a previous time period that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Agatha Christie's Poirot is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson
Agatha Christie's Poirot is a British television drama that aired on ITV from 8 January 1989 to 13 November 2013. David Suchet stars as the eponymous detective, Agatha Christie's fictional ...more
2
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on ABC on 24 February 2012. The series is based on author Kerry Greenwood's novels and was created ...more
3
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a 1987 CBS television movie and pilot created and written by Bob Shayne involving the famous detective Sherlock Holmes finding himself in the modern world.
4
The Alienist is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning
The Alienist (TNT, 2018) is an American television period drama event series created by Cary Fukunaga, based on the novel by Caleb Carr. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) and newspaper ...more
5
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray, Edward Hardwicke
Sherlock Holmes is the name given to the TV series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations produced by British television company Granada Television between 1984 and 1994, with the first two series ...more
6
Agatha Christie's Marple is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie, Stephen Churchett
Agatha Christie's Marple is a British ITV television series based on the books and short stories by British crime novelist Agatha Christie. The title character was played by Geraldine McEwan ...more
7
Miss Marple is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Joan Hickson, Gwen Watford, David Horovitch
Miss Marple is a British television series based on the Miss Marple murder mystery novels by Agatha Christie. It starred Joan Hickson in the title role, and aired from 1984 to 1992. All 12 ...more
8
Ripper Street is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg
Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in London's East End in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper. The series stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, and Adam ...more
9
The Doctor Blake Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an Australian television series which premiered on ABC1 on Friday 1 February 2013 at 8:30 p.m. The series stars Craig McLachlan in the lead role of Doctor Lucien ...more
10
Agatha Christie's Partners in ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Francesca Annis, Reece Dinsdale, James Warwick
Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime is a 1983 British television series based on the short stories of the same name by Agatha Christie. It was directed by John A. Davis and Tony Wharmby, and ...more
11
I Am the Night is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Chris Pine, India Eisley, Jefferson Mays
I Am the Night (TNT, 2019) is a six-episode limited television series directed by Patty Jenkins, Victoria Mahoney, and Carl Franklin. Given away as an infant by her teenage mother to a black ...more
12
Roman Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Simon Callow, Francesca Isherwood, Harry Stott
Roman Mysteries is a television series based on the series of children's historical novels by Caroline Lawrence. It is reportedly the most expensive British children's TV series to date at ...more
13
Medici Masters of Florence is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden, Stuart Martin
Medici: Masters of Florence is a television drama series about the Medici dynasty set in 15th century Florence. Cosimo the Elder (Richard Madden) was elected head of the Florentine Republic in ...more
14
The Frankenstein Chronicles is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Sean Bean, Tom Ward, Richie Campbell
The Frankenstein Chronicles (A&E, 2015) is a British television period crime drama series created by Benjamin Ross and Barry Langford, and a re-imagining of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel. ...more
15
The ABC Murders is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot, with Rupert Grint, Andrew Buchan
The ABC Murders (BBC One, 2018) is a British television serial based on Agatha Christie's novel of the same name. Hercule Poirot (John Malkovich), receives a mysterious letter, signed ...more
16
Maigret is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Michael Gambon, Geoffrey Hutchings, James Larkin
Maigret was a British television series that ran on ITV for twelve episodes between 1992 and 1993. It was an adaptation of the books by Georges Simenon featuring his fictional French detective ...more
17
High Seas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Eloy Azorín, Ivana Baquero, Luis Bermejo
High Seas (Netflix, 2019), named Alta mar in Spanish, is a Spanish mystery period drama television series. Mysterious deaths on a luxurious ship traveling from Spain to Rio de Janeiro in the ...more
18
No One Saw a Thing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
No One Saw a Thing (SundanceTV, 2019) is an American documentary television series. The show examines an unsolved and mysterious death in the American Heartland and the corrosive effects of ...more
19
A Haunting is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Anthony D. Call, Mark Joy, Lorraine Warren
A Haunting is a 2005 American paranormal anthology television series that depicts eyewitness accounts of possession, exorcism, and ghostly encounters. The show originally aired from October 28, ...more
20
Jack the Ripper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Stratford Johns, Frank Windsor
Jack the Ripper is a six-part BBC television drama made in 1973, in which the case of the Jack the Ripper murders is reopened and analysed by Detective Chief Superintendents Barlow and Watt. ...more
21
Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Myst... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Geraldine Hakewill, Joel Jackson, Catherine McClements
Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries (Seven, 2019), also stylised as Ms Fisher's MODern Murder Mysteries, is an Australian drama television miniseries and a spin-off of the drama series Miss ...more
22
Pennyworth is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Ryan Fletcher
Pennyworth (Epix, 2019) is an American drama television series based on the DC Comics characters. The story of how Bruce Wayne's legendary butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), a former ...more
23
Mysteries at the Museum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Mysteries at the Museum is an hour-long television program on the Travel Channel which features museum artifacts of unusual or mysterious origins.
24
Musee Eden is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
Musee Eden Laurence Leboeuf, Guy Nadon, Mariloup Wolfe
The story takes place in 1910 in Montreal, Quebec, while a killer terrorized the city. In the same period, Florence and Camille Courval, two sisters originating in French Manitoba inherit the ...more
25
American Ripper is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Historical Mystery Series
American Ripper Jeff Mudgett, Amaryllis Fox, Conor Hall