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The Best Historical Mystery Series

Updated November 10, 2020 993 votes 194 voters 9.3k views28 items

List RulesVote 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, then vote down the shows that don't solve the mystery of the best detective series set in a previous time period.

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  • Agatha Christie's Poirot1
    85
    20

    Agatha Christie's Poirot

    David Suchet, Hugh Fraser

    Premiered1989

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  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries2
    82
    29

    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

    Essie Davis, Nathan Page

    Premiered2012

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  • The Alienist3
    62
    19

    The Alienist

    Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans

    Premiered2018

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  • Sherlock Holmes4
    47
    14

    Sherlock Holmes

    Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray

    Premiered1984

  • Ripper Street5
    45
    15

    Ripper Street

    Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn

    Premiered2012

  • Agatha Christie's Marple6
    42
    12

    Agatha Christie's Marple

    Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie

    Premiered2004

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  • Miss Marple7
    33
    11

    Miss Marple

    Joan Hickson, Gwen Watford

    Premiered1984

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  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes8
    34
    15

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes

    Margaret Colin, Michael Pennington

    Premiered1987

  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries9
    24
    20

    The Doctor Blake Mysteries

    Craig McLachlan

    Premiered2013

  • The ABC Murders10
    20
    16

    The ABC Murders

    John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot, with Rupert Grint

    Premiered2018

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  • History Detectives11
    11
    8

    History Detectives

    Wes Cowan

    Premiered2003

  • Dead Still12
    7
    2

    Dead Still

    Michael Smiley, Jimmy Smallhorne

    Premiered2020

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  • Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime13
    12
    12

    Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime

    Francesca Annis, Reece Dinsdale

    Premiered1983

  • The Frankenstein Chronicles14
    16
    19

    The Frankenstein Chronicles

    Sean Bean, Tom Ward
  • Maigret15
    9
    9

    Maigret

    Michael Gambon, Geoffrey Hutchings

    Premiered1992

  • High Seas16
    9
    9

    High Seas

    Eloy Azorín, Ivana Baquero

    Premiered2019

  • Jack the Ripper17
    8
    9

    Jack the Ripper

    Stratford Johns, Frank Windsor

    Premiered1973

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  • Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries18
    16
    21

    Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries

    Geraldine Hakewill, Joel Jackson

    Premiered2019

  • Roman Mysteries19
    8
    9

    Roman Mysteries

    Simon Callow, Francesca Isherwood

    Premiered2007

  • Mysteries at the Museum20
  • I Am the Night21
    12
    16

    I Am the Night

    Chris Pine, India Eisley

    Premiered2019

  • Pennyworth22
    4
    7

    Pennyworth

    Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge

    Premiered2019

  • A Haunting23
    6
    12

    A Haunting

    Anthony D. Call, Mark Joy

    Premiered2002

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  • Medici24
    6
    12

    Medici

    Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden

    Premiered2016

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    #13 of 99 The Best Historical Drama TV Shows#55 of 66 The Best Historical Fiction TV Shows

  • Musee Eden25
    4
    12

    Musee Eden

    Laurence Leboeuf, Guy Nadon

    Premiered2010