We all love a whodunnit but have you noticed that it's not always the cops that catch the killers.
1. Murder, She Wrote
Yep! Everybody’s favourite aunt… just don’t ask her to visit! Death definitely follows mystery writer Jessica Fletcher around. Love her or hate her, a sickie from work’s just not the same without her! All together now, ba da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaa!
2. Jonathan Creek
4. Quincy M.E.
A bit of nostalgia now! Quincy M.E. was the medical mystery solver of the 70s and 80s. Quince, as he was affectionately known, was an LA-based coroner who used his forensic prowess to catch the baddies and pioneered the way for shows like CSI and NCIS.
5. Rosemary and Thyme
6. Father Brown
Another mystery-busting minister! Set in the Cotswolds in the 1950s, Father Brown is a Roman Catholic priest who uses his sharp intellect and unconventional moral code to solve crime and frustrate Inspector Valentine.
7. Hetty Wainthropp
Hetty wakes on her 60th birthday in search of a new challenge and decides to become a private investigator. Using her commonsense, her husband Robert and young sidekick Geoffrey, Hetty tackles the crimes considered too trivial by the local police force. (And yes, that is Mrs McCuskey from Grange Hill – why has she not aged?)
8. Diagnosis Murder
Daytime telly stalwart, Dr Mark Sloan, played by Dick Van Dyke, uses his medical knowledge to help his cop son, Steve Sloan (played by real-life son, Barry Van Dyke) save the day and solve the mystery. In the final episode, it was more like the Von Trapps, with a staggering six Van Dykes in that episode. The most surprising thing about this series is how dated it looks! Can’t believe this first aired in the 90s!
What is it with men of the cloth! We thought they were supposed to save souls not solve crimes! Cadfael’s another one that can’t stay away from a grisly corpse. As a former soldier-sailor turned Benedictine monk, he is scholarly, a herbalist and well travelled, and uses his skills to bag the baddies in 12th Century Shrewsbury.
10. The Mrs Bradley Mysteries
Ah yes, quintessentially English socialite, Adela Bradley (a sassy Miss Marple if you will) scours the countryside with her trusty chauffeur George Moody, solving crimes through observation, deduction and more than a little acerbic wit!
11. Miss Marple
Nothing compares to Joan Hickson’s portayal of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple (above). If you’ve never seen them, buy the box-set, a large cake, pull up your blankie and enjoy! She may look like a frail old lady but beneath that genteel exterior lies a mind as sharp as a razor.
12. Perry Mason
By defending the indefensible, criminal defence lawyer, Perry Mason, uses every trick in the book and some pretty slick courtroom banter to prove his client’s innocence… and make the police look pretty dumb!
13. Father Dowling Investigates
Another crime-buster from the God-squad! Father Frank Dowling, along with streetwise nun Sister Stephanie, stumbles upon a series of Chicago murders, kidnaps and robberies. Missing mass to make sure the good guys stay on top is all in a day’s work for this devout duo. Happy Days!
14. Scooby Doo
And finally, Scooby Doo and the Gang! As kids, this was probably our first taste of a whodunnit… and let’s be honest, this is the one show you hope your kids want to watch so you can enjoy it all over again…as long as Scrappy’s not in it!