Loved Monk? Here Are 8 Detective Shows You Can Watch

A popular detective series created by Andy Breckman, ‘Monk’ follows an exceptional but eccentric former detective, Adrian Monk. Monk suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and over a hundred phobias, developed after the tragic death of his wife. Despite his challenges, Monk’s remarkable attention to detail and detective skills make him an invaluable asset to the San Francisco Police Department as a private investigator.

With its blend of humor, Monk’s unorthodox investigative methods, and idiosyncrasies, the show captivates audiences as they follow Monk’s journey to overcome personal struggles while solving crimes. With the eponymous character’s journey coming to an end with ‘Mr. Monk’s Last Case,’ we can’t help but look for more compelling shows like it.

8. Annika (2021-)

‘Annika,’ a crime drama series by Nick Walker, centers around the titular character, DI Annika Strandhed, a witty and enigmatic detective solving intricate cases in Glasgow. Known for her unconventional methods and sharp intuition, Annika navigates a world of mysteries and crime scenes with a unique perspective.

The series lays heavily into mystery and suspense as Annika delves into puzzling investigations, unveiling layers of complex crimes. Much like Monk, her tenacity and knack for solving cases often clash with traditional policing methods. ‘Annika’ portrays the challenges of solving intricate mysteries while shedding light on Annika’s compelling and multifaceted personality, making it an engaging and character-driven crime drama for audiences.

7. Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)

‘Murder, She Wrote,’ a classic TV series created by Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson and William Link, follows Jessica Fletcher, a charming and astute old mystery writer who finds herself entangled in real-life murder mysteries. Set in the idyllic town of Cabot Cove and later in various locations, the show revolves around Jessica’s knack for solving crimes with her understanding of criminal psychology.

Each episode presents a new puzzling case, emphasizing themes of intrigue, suspense, and the complexities of human nature. Jessica Fletcher, portrayed by Golden Globe winner Angela Lansbury, embodies a charismatic and perceptive lead character, making ‘Murder, She Wrote’ a hearty recommendation for fans of ‘Monk.’

6. Top of the Lake (2013–2017)

‘Top of the Lake,’ helmed by showrunners Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, is a gripping mystery drama series that revolves around Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss). Set in a remote New Zealand town, Griffin investigates the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl. As she delves deeper into the case, Griffin uncovers disturbing secrets and faces the dark underbelly of the seemingly serene community. The show explores hauntingly beautiful landscapes while delving into the depths of human behavior and the profound impact of trauma. If you were gripped by Monk being compelled by his dark past, ‘Top of the Lake’ will strike a similar chord with its lead and a heavier atmospheric tension.

5. Crime (2021-)

Detective Inspector Ray Lennox serves and protects the residents of Edinburgh, a city on the brink of madness. A girl is missing, a hero is nowhere to be found, while his colleagues and superiors create hindrances and ethical dilemmas. Showrunners Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh capture the disturbed mind of Lennox as he is terrorized by his own demons peering at him through the crime scenes. While ‘Crime’ lacks the humor of ‘Monk,’ its protagonist shares the mentally disturbed state of Monk in its essence. Both are tormented by their pasts and work through mental disturbances to reach the truth.

4. Midsomer Murders (1997-)

A long-running British mystery drama created by Caroline Graham and adapted for television by Anthony Horowitz, ‘Midsomer Murders’ is set in the fictional English county of Midsomer. The show follows Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, portrayed by John Nettles initially and later by Neil Dudgeon, as he investigates perplexing and often bizarre murders that occur in the picturesque but deadly Midsomer County.

With an emphasis on mystery, drama, and crime, each episode features intricate plots, eccentric characters, and idyllic countryside settings. The series masterfully combines elements of family secrets, social intricacies, and small-town dynamics. As is the case with ‘Monk,’ the show ultimately captivates us with its compelling storytelling and suspenseful murder investigations.

3. Poker Face (2023-)

Created by Rian Johnson for Peacock, ‘Poker Face’ barrels along with Charlie Cale, an easy-going woman on the run from her casino boss (Ron Perlman) over a mysterious murder. As she travels from destination to destination, she is embroiled in confounding murder cases and can’t help but use her gift of discerning lies, in order to uncover the truth. The mystery drama shares a humorous tone with ‘Monk,’ along with a character-driven narrative engaging us with the lead’s hilarious predicaments and potent natural talent.

2. Columbo (1971-1978)

A classic detective television series by showrunners Richard Levinson and William Link, ‘Columbo’ revolves around the unassuming yet brilliant, Lieutenant Columbo. Portrayed by Golden Globe and four-time Emmy winner, Peter Falk, Columbo is characterized by his disheveled appearance and an unorthodox investigative style. His day-to-day consists of unraveling intricate murder cases, often involving high-profile individuals.

Each episode follows a format first popularized by ‘Columbo’, introducing the mystery by revealing the murderer at the beginning. The drama unfolds as Columbo, with his keen intellect and shrewd observation, meticulously collects evidence and cunningly manipulates suspects, leading to a dramatic reveal and eventual confession. Renowned for its inverted mystery storytelling and the charismatic portrayal of the titular character, ‘Columbo’ has inspired many detective shows and characters, including ‘Monk’ and its eponymous lead.

1. Poirot (1989-2013)

‘Poirot,’ based on the works of Agatha Christie and created for television by Clive Exton, is a classic British detective series. The show features the iconic and meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, portrayed by David Suchet. Set in the early to mid-20th century, each episode follows Poirot as he solves perplexing crimes, often involving murder, with his sharp intellect, attention to detail, and distinct mannerisms. Hercule Poirot was an inspiration for Monk’s character in terms of his obsessive compulsions and adamantly set methodologies.

With its period setting, engaging storytelling, and Poirot’s unmistakable personality, the show captivates audiences using clever plot twists, and the investigative prowess of the brilliant Hercule Poirot. ‘Poirot’ stands as a quintessential detective series, celebrated for its compelling mysteries and the unforgettable portrayal of Agatha Christie’s beloved character.

Read More: Mr. Monk’s Last Case Movie: All the Filming Locations