Last Updated: January 27th
A little mystery makes life interesting, but Netflix knows that it’s the key ingredient in any bingeable series. That’s why the streaming platform has beefed up its offerings in all things unexplainable and bizarre. A good mystery takes episodes, even seasons to fully explain and there’s something for everyone in this collection. From crime thrillers to post-apocalyptic fare, a few amnesiac killers and a disappearance or two, these are the best mystery shows worth trying to solve on Netflix right now.
4 seasons, 13 episodes | IMDb: 9.2/10
Sherlock is the best iteration of “the” Sherlock Holmes ever to air on television. The British series from Steven Moffat stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and despite the fact that it has been updated, it brilliantly captures the same spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories. It’s fast-paced, engrossing, brilliantly acted, often very funny, and frequently tragic.
3 seasons, 24 episodes | IMDb: 8.4/10
A young boy is found dead in a seemingly idyllic small town, and the detectives charged with solving the case turn up twist after twist in tracking down the murderer. Despite its familiar premise (see also: Twin Peaks, The Killing), Broadchurch relies on its ensemble cast — specifically the impeccable David Tennant and Olivia Colman — to keep viewers caring after each red herring is tossed back into the ocean. The first series centers on the hunt for the killer while the second is on both the suspect’s trial and a reopened case from the past, but they both don’t let up in intrigue. A word of warning, though: This isn’t one of those TV dramas you should binge even if you want to. It gets heavy and emotionally exhausting, and unrestrained streaming kinda negates the effect of the show’s mysteries.
2 seasons, 30 episodes | IMDb: 8.8/10
If small-town murder mysteries full of camp and supernatural phenomenon are your thing, well then why wouldn’t you watch (or re-watch) Twin Peaks? The series, crafted all the way back in the ’90s by David Lynch, is a cult-favorite and for good reason. With Kyle MacLachlan playing Special Agent Dale Cooper, a poor schmoe who’s called in to investigate the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer, he’s met with more than he bargained for. Conspiracy theories and otherworldly beings, time travel, and dwarves in red business suits soon follow. The original series may have ended with cliffhangers and unexplained plot-holes, but with the recent Showtime revival, now’s as good a time as any to catch up on all the strange events that seem to plague this sleepy town.
2 seasons, 30 episodes | IMDb: 8/10
Skeet Ulrich plays a man returned to his hometown after years on the run just before a nuclear attack manages to cripple the country. Jake Green (Ulrich) is the son of the mayor of Jericho who fell in with a bad crowd in his youth and left town after a crime gone wrong. He returns just as suicide bombers take out a handful of major cities across the U.S. The first season is mostly the town’s residents trying to make sense of what happened, but the second season deals exclusively in political conspiracy theories and the threat of a second Civil War.
2 seasons, 22 episodes | IMDb: 8.7/10
If you’re trying to pin down Netflix’s mystery crime thriller, the best way to describe it is to call it a German version of Stranger Things minus the Demogorgon. The show centers on four families whose lives and dark deeds are brought to light after two children vanish in the woods. There’s plenty of familial drama here and a supernatural twist or two to keep things interesting.
3 seasons, 57 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
Riverdale is a dark teen comedy based on characters from the Archie comics. It mixes in elements of a conventional teen drama — romance, small-town life, and the high-school ecosystem — with a compelling, adult murder mystery. The series takes place in a small-town with a 1950s vibe (despite being firmly set in the present) where a high-school teenager is found dead under mysterious circumstances that implicate much of the community as suspects. Riverdale is powered not just by the mystery, but by characters who are instantly likable (Betty, Veronica, and Jughead are all standouts) and easy to invest in. The mystery is so incredibly intriguing that it’s almost impossible not to get wrapped up in it as the storyline guides us through numerous red herrings. It’s a madly addictive series, occasionally campy, and just self-aware enough not to take itself too seriously.
2 seasons, 22 episodes | IMDb: 8/10
Jessica Biel stars as a woman with a dark past in this mystery series with Bill Pullman and Christopher Abbot. Biel plays Cora, a wife and mother who commits a horrific act of violence during a family beach trip for no apparent reason. It’s only once a detective (Pullman) begins looking into her life before the murder does he discover a conspiracy plot as tangled as it is gruesome.
1 season, 9 episodes | IMDb: 8.1/10
This Dutch thriller centers on a young woman named Mie who wakes up in a psychiatric facility with no memory of her life before becoming a patient there. Making things worse? A missing person’s case prompts a detective to begin snooping through her past, causing her to mistrust everyone around her, including herself. There’s a bit of murder and camp in this one, which only add to the mystery of it all.
1 season, 7 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
The Keepers is another true crime original from Netflix in the vein of Making A Murderer. Focused initially on the murder of Catholic high school teacher Sister Cathy Cesnik, the series takes viewers down a shockingly dark path into a world of sexual abuse perpetrated by those running Archbishop Keough High School in the 1960s and other members high up in the community. The Keepers paints a stark picture of a system that’s allowed powerful men to get away with horrible crimes against women — who were systematically ignored and overlooked when they attempted to gain justice.
1 season, 4 episodes | IMDb: 7.7/10
There’s plenty of true crime docs on Netflix right now, but Evil Genius stands out amongst a crowded landscape. Part of that is thanks to the sheer incredulity of real-life events — the show explores an infamous bank heist carried out by a young boy with a bomb strapped to his chest — and part of that is thanks to director Trey Borzillieri, who manages to get to the meat of why a group of criminals would commit such a brazen crime.
2 seasons, 16 episodes | IMDb: 8.2/10
In theory, American Vandal sounds silly and sophomoric, and it is, but it’s also a genuinely brilliant, incredibly clever, smartly written satire of true-crime documentaries. It plays just like any other true crime docuseries — interviews, investigations, multiple suspects, and numerous conspiracy theories — only the crime here is not a murder. It’s a high-school student who has been accused by the school board of spray painting dicks on 27 cars, a crime that threatens his ability to graduate. It’s a brilliant whodunnit that just happens to also be the best parody of 2017, along with recently taking home a Peabody Award.