Nobody Does a Mystery Quite Like the BBC

If you have ever finished watching one of the great mystery series produced by the BBC and wondered, “What will I watch next?” then this is the list for you!  As an added bonus, there are also some authors listed in case you’d like to extend the experience into print format. 

Poirot.jpgAgatha Christie Hour –  Classic adaptations of several different mysteries featuring lesser-known Christie heroes and heroines solving puzzling cases. DVD AGA (SET)

Agatha Christi’s Poirot  – Christie’s mustached sleuth at his best. DVD POI (SET)

Campion DVD CAM – Peter Davison plays the enigmatic sleuth, with Brian Glover as his loyal but slightly shady manservant. Based on characters by Margery Allingham.

Dalziel & Pascoe DVD DAL (SET) – An old-school, blunt-talking Detective Superintendent is teamed with an inexperienced but caring and educated police officer, resulting in an entertaining odd couple of crime solving. Based on characters created by Reginald Hill.

Foyle’s War – Set during WWII, the often-underestimated Detective Superintendent Foyle solves crimes in and around Hastings, England. DVD FOY

George GentlyStubborn, incorruptible old cop George Gently
partners with a young, ambitious protege to tackle cases in the North
East of England during the turbulent 1960s

Inspector Alleyn Mysteries – An aristocratic Scotland Yard detective solves crimes among the elite in this series from the “golden age” of British mystery. DVD INS

Inspector LewisInspector Robert Lewis, protégé of the legendary
Inspector Morse, returns to Oxford, England where he is teamed with a brilliant new partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway.

InspectorLynley.jpgInspector Lynley Mysteries – Upper class Lynley solves crimes with his working-class assistant, Sergeant Barbara Havers. Based on the complex characters created by Elizabeth George, one of the first American crime writers to have her novels adapted by the BBC. DVD INS

Jericho of Scotland Yard – brief but atmospheric series set in 1950’s London. DVD JER (SET)

Kavanagh Q. C. – This series features a barrister and his battles in the courtroom  and at home. DVD KAV (SET)

Life on MarsAfter a car accident, modern-day police detective Sam Tyler finds he has been transported back to 1973. Now he must solve crimes using low-tech 1970s methods, while figuring out just what happened to him. DVD LIF (SET)

Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries – An aristocratic amateur sleuthsolves mysteries in this clever and entertaining series that is very faithful to the Dorothy Sayers books they are based on. DVD LOR (SET)

Luther – A self-destructive near-genius, Luther might just be as dangerous as the depraved criminals he hunts. DVD LUT (SET)

MI-5 The elite team from the clandestine security service, MI-5, tackles organized crime, terrorist activities, anarchists, and more. DVD MI (SET)
Midsomer Murders – The quiet English countryside provides the setting for this drama series.Based on the crime novels featuring Chief Inspector Barnaby by Caroline Graham. DVD MID

Murder in Suburbia – Meticulous and stubborn Kate teams up with street-smart Emma as bickering detectives in an upscale suburb. DVD MUR (SET)

Murder Most English – Produced in 1977, these mysteries star British character actor Anton Rodgers as the low-key yet persistent Detective Inspector who delves beneath the quaint surface of a small English country town. DVD MUR (SET)

New Tricks – Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman is put on the newly created unsolved murder squad. Due to a manpower shortage her team is made up of veteran detectives who bring a 1970’s mentality to modern policing. DVD NEW (SET)

Pie in the SkyAfter 25 years in the force, Detective Inspector
Henry Crabbe has lost his appetite for the job. He plans to take early
retirement and open his dream restaurant, Pie in the Sky, but
crime solving can hard to resist

Rosemary & Thyme two middle-aged women make a fresh start by opening a gardening business – but are soon solving mysteries.

Rumpole of the Bailey – This courtroom drama with comic overtones revolves around an endearing, curmudgeonly defense attorney. DVD RUM (SET)

Sherlock – This cleverly updated version of Doyle’s famous sleuth has Holmes and Watson in 21st Century London and is filled with fast-paced dialogue and dark humor.DVD SHE (SET)

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman – A young, aspiring private detective is
forced to continue her education on the job when her mentor commits
suicide. Based on characters created by P.D. James (see more below under “Authors”). DVD UNS (SET)

Waking the Dead – A “cold case” unit reopens unsolved murders and solves them using the latest in forensic technology. DVD WAK

Wallander – Inspector Kurt Wallander, a disillusioned everyman, struggles against a rising tide of violence in southern Sweden. Based on the popular books by Henning Mankell. DVD WAL (SET)

Zen – A darker, more complex series set in Italy featuring Venetian detective Aurelio Zen.  Based on the crime novels by Michael Dibdin, it appears the BBC will not continue filming beyond the first three episodes.

A few more authors with that British “BBC” feel:

P. D. James – probably best known for her Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, James’ stories mix old-fashioned motives with modern-day crimes and settings.

Lynda La Plante – the British screenwriter of the Prime Suspect television crime series has novelized the series featuring the sleuthing of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, plus several other mystery series.

Ellis Peters – The long-running Cadfael Chronicles feature a former Crusader turned medieval monk who uses his gardening and botanical knowledge to solve mysteries in the abbey’s community.  We also own some of the BBC’s version on DVD.

Ruth Rendell – try her character-driven Inspector Wexford mysteries or one of her many  standalone novels of psychological suspense.

Charles Todd – this popular series is set just after WWI features a shell-shocked Ian Rutledge, an upper-class Scotland Yard detective.

PS If we don’t have an entire series on the shelf, please Ask Us! to help you find them at other libraries.

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