My Favorite Mystery TV Shows

As a cozy mystery fan, I watch a lot of cozy who-done-its on television. Much like my favorite books and my kids' book, Ms. Avocado Solves a Mystery, these shows center on female protagonists. Cozy mysteries are also a lot about great settings, and these shows work hard to create atmosphere through a fun sense of place.

3. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

If you want to watch a mystery that also has romantic tension and great clothes, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is your show. Ellie Davis is magic as flapper feminist detective Phryne Fisher, but the show would not work with out her excellent supporting cast, including Nathan Page as her hunky romantic interest/fellow detective and their respective side-kicks. Plus, the show is excellently shot and costumed. It's visual catnip.

2. Rosemary and Thyme

Rosemary and Thyme dials up the cozy. Focusing on two gardeners who travel through the United Kingdom fixing up gardens and solving murders, the show will appeal to viewers who like British comedies, as well as cozy fans. Gardening makes a convincing catalyst for solving murders and changing locales, as well as keeps the leads relatable and down-to-earth (whoops! A pun!).

1. Murder, She Wrote

The gold standard for American cozy mysteries, Murder, She Wrote has always been my favorite. The show ran for 12 seasons (plus four television films) and made Angela Lansbury's mystery author/amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher into a cultural icon. Like with other cozies, the show is made or broken by its protagonist, and Jessica is just the right mix of sweet, smart, funny, strong, and independent to make her approachable but surprising. While many fans and casual viewers love the Cabot Cove episodes (and they are great), I'm a big fan of the episodes that take place late in the series when Jessica takes up a second home in NYC, which reinvigorated the series in season 8. Allowing Jessica to have two home-bases--one rural and one urban--also diversifies the characters and crimes that fall across her path.  It's my ultimate TV comfort food.

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