10 Murder Mystery Shows to Binge Watch During These Long Winter Nights
During the winter months, you might find yourself waiting out the long, cold nights at home. And, what to do to pass the time? We have a suggestion: binge on some killer thrillers.
Perhaps you're curious to take a look at Steven Soderbergh's quietly hyped murder mystery series Mosaic. It started out life as an interactive app, which allowed users to view the story from different characters' perspectives and decide how the plot unfolds. But a more traditional telling premiered on HBO (January 22), starring Sharon Stone as famous children's author, Olivia Lake, who turns up dead. We're officially intrigued!
If you're liking the look of Mosaic, here are 10 other murder mysteries (all available online) that might strike your fancy:
1. Broadchurch (2013-2017)
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Chris Chibnall‘s (Doctor Who) crime drama, Broadchurch, became an instant phenomenon when it premiered on BBC America in 2013. Millions of viewers tuned in to find out who killed young Danny Latimer… But it was also the compelling relationships of the residents of Broadchurch — a fictional coastal town in Dorset, England — that helped drive the story. A mis-matched detective duo, played by David Tennant and Olivia Colman, team up to investigate. And Jodie Whittaker, yes, the new Doctor, portrays Danny's mother, and she's desperate for answers.
You can watch Broadchurch over at Netflix.
2. The Fall (2013-2016)
Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) takes on the role of DS Stella Gibson in the thriller The Fall, set in Northern Ireland. The experienced detective is determined to find a serial killer on the loose. But, there's an unorthodox twist: viewers know his identity early on. Jamie Dornan, of 50 Shades fame, plays Paul Spector, a seemingly typical, doting father. But, at night, he takes on a completely different persona, entering unsuspecting women's homes and strangling them. Gibson can see a pattern. The killer is seeking power and control; it "thrills" him to stalk these women. He also has his eye on another target... Gibson herself. Ack!
The Fall is available via Netflix.
3. True Detective (2014-2015)
The inaugural season of the anthology series True Detective (2014-2018) introduces us to detectives Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson). The pair were partners back in 1995 when they worked to solve the murder of 28-year-old Dora Lange. After seemingly cracking the case, the two had a falling out and parted ways. But, 17 years later, a new murder case — one that's eerily reminiscent of Lange's killing — has forced them to put their differences aside. It leads them to believe that maybe they didn't catch the right person. The second season picks up with an entirely new case and cast, including Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Vince Vaughn.
True Detective is available via Amazon Video or HBO Subscription.
4. The Missing (2014)
The first season of The Missing had us on the edge of our seats, and while thrilling, it doesn't quite fit on this list, because it's about a missing boy, who we pray comes back and has not in fact been murdered. The story follows a distraught father, played by James Nesbitt, looking for his young son... we really just have no idea what has had happened to him.
The follow-up season of The Missing, on the other hand, switched things up. Rather than looking for someone, a young girl, reported missing, comes back to her family, simply walking out of a wooded area in a tattered gown, with no explanation. The thing is, there were two girls, both fitting the same description, who disappeared around the same time. It begs the question: "Where is the other girl?" She's presumed dead at this point, but, you'll need to watch the series from beginning to end to get the real answer. You can look for Doctor Who star David Morrissey as the worried father of the once missing girl. You can also look for Tchéky Karyo returning to reprise his role from season one as detective Julien Baptiste.
The Missing is part of Amazon Prime.
5. London Spy (2015)
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It's hard enough to find someone you get on with, let alone love, and when Danny (Ben Whishaw) meets Mr. Right, his new partner soon turns up... yep, you guessed it: dead. And, to make matters worse, Danny is then mistaken for a member of the secret service. BBC America's London Spy takes us from carefree clubbing nights into the dark underbelly of the spy game. You can look for other familiar faces like Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Ramping. London Spy creator Tom Rob Smith is also the novelist behind the acclaimed Child 44 trilogy.
London Spy can be streamed via Amazon.
6. Happy Valley (2016)
Like The Missing, season one of Happy Valley, while riveting, revolved around a kidnapping, and not necessarily a murder. But, oh boy, does season two fit the bill.
We see the return of police sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire). Spoiler Alert: She's back to work and has been awarded for solving the kidnapping in season one, and putting away the assailant. But, in season two, the kidnapper's mother has been killed. And, guess who the number one suspect is? That's right, sergeant Cawood herself. We don't really think she killed anyone, but to get her name out of the mix, she needs to figure out who did...
Happy Valley is available on Netflix.
7. The Night Of (2016)
Riz Ahmed takes on the lead role of Naz in HBO's The Night Of. In the season opener, the young New Yorker takes his father's taxi for a spin, and ends up picking up a fair, even though that was not his intent. A young woman gets into his taxi, thinking he's for hire. The two hit it off, make a stop, have a chat and the next morning... he wakes up to her bloodied corpse. He has no recollection of what happened, but that really does not help his case. The series helps us piece together what happened that unfortunate night, and helps Naz recover his missing memories.
The Night Of is available via Amazon or HBO subscription.
8. Hotel Beau Séjour (2017)
This Belgian TV series, with subtitles, follows the same premise as some of the above series, starting off with a murder, but there's a supernatural twist. Kato Hoeven (Lynn Van Royen) finds herself in a small hotel, thinking she has just awoken. But, technically, she is neither awake nor asleep — she's dead. She's looking down at her own body, abandoned in the hotel bathroom. Hoeven has no idea what has happened, and begins the search for her killer, a tricky task being undead. Her parents cry for her, and miss her, but cannot see her. But somehow, she comes across five people in the village who ARE able to see her. It may provide some sense of relief, that possibly someone can help her... but, she guesses, one of these five is her killer.
Hotel Beau Séjour can be streamed via Netflix.
9. Top of the Lake: China Girl (2017)
In season one of Top of the Lake, a 12-year-old girl is discovered to be pregnant. The biggest mystery is that the girl has no idea how this came to be, never knowingly having had intercourse. Elisabeth Moss portrays detective Robin Griffin, who specializes in cases that involve children.
But more appropriate for our list is season two. Following the disturbing case of the pregnant adolescent, Griffin returns to her native Sydney, Australia. When a young woman's body washes up in a suitcase, Griffin takes on another gritty case. She's tasked with identifying the Jane Doe and tracking her murderer. Moss is joined in the second season by Nicole Kidman, Ewen Leslie, Gwendoline Christie, David Dencik and newcomer Alice Englert.
Top of the Lake: China Girl can be found over at Hulu.
10. Big Little Lies (2017)
In the series opener of Big Little Lies, there's a murder at a neighborhood get together in a well-to-do California suburb, but we don't know whodunit. Nor do we even know who the victim is. We spool back in time to the first day of school, zeroing in on a handful of moms dropping off their first graders. There's the young single mom, Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), who's new to town and hoping for a fresh start. She's befriended by supermom and career-woman, Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon). Nicole Kidman‘s character, Celeste Wright, looks the part of the perfectly poised stay-at-home mother. Something is going on behind closed doors, but whose door? And what does any of this have to do with the eventual murder? As the series rolls out, so do the clues...
Big Little Lies is available via Amazon Video or HBO subscription.
Will these shows get you through the long nights? Or scare you into leaving your house?!