Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Here are some of the best modern TV shows that may qualify as cozy mysteries.
For the purposes of this list, I'm not including older shows like Murder She Wrote, Columbo, Matlock, and so on. However, there is a great list of both modern and classic cozies on Cozy Mystery List. In her article, Danna mentions how hard it is to find good cozy mystery shows today, I somewhat agree.
Sometimes it feels like it's hard to find good, clean shows to watch on television. Still, if you know where to look, there are still quality TV Shows out there that feed a love of mystery while being safe for the whole family. Here are 8 modern (or fairly recent) mystery shows that make for cozy entertainment.
*I'm only including shows that are rated TV-PG on Netflix or Prime, though not all are still available on those platforms.
I know spy shows don't really seem like cozy mystery shows, but this had a cozy feel to it, at least in the first season. We follow a down and out spy who has been burned, which is like a far worse version of being fired. Trying to find out who burned him while adjusting to being back in his hometown makes for interesting viewing. At the same time, solving crimes alongside his mother, an old girlfriend, and friends isn't what this spy is used to - and it's fun to watch him try.
Summary: Action-packed, fun, light-hearted, but there's an emotional investment here that makes the last season and a half feel a little heavier than the others on this list.
A male mystery writer and a female police officer team up to catch criminals in this light-hearted mystery show. I've only seen a little of the show (since my brother has Hulu and I don't) but from what I've seen, it's a humorous, fun show!
Summary: Light-hearted, fast-paced, fun
Death in Paradise
Ditto on it not being available on Netflix anymore. (With these and Doctor Who no longer being available in the USA, I'm a few shows away from signing up for Brit-Box!) What I love about this show is that it's set on an island and has a vaction/resort feeling to it as islanders and vacationers are struck by cunning murderers who are caught by even more savvy detectives.
Summary: Light-hearted, medium-paced, fun
Father Brown (current series)
I wish this would come back to Netflix, but right now it's only on Brit Box. This show follows a good-natured priest as he solves crimes while respecting both the victims and the wayward souls who commit crimes. I love the heart of this show as it paints people as people. Yes, some are more evil natured than others, but no one, as Father Brown likes to say, is past saving. It's a bit of a heavier feel to it, but leaves the viewer feeling good.
Summary: Heavier content, slower-paced, feel-good endings
Adrian Monk is a genius investigator with OCD-like symptoms who leaves the police to become a private detective after his wife's murder. Though the premise and the detective are both filled with sadness, the episodes are quirky and comical. Sometimes the show doesn't quite get the depiction of mental health struggles right, but there are times when the viewer feels for Monk and can understand how he struggles between his own fears and compulsions and his desire to just fit in with the crowd - and we love him all the more for it.
Summary: Light-hearted, medium-paced, sweet and sentimental
Silly and sentimental (heavy on the silly), this is my #1 favorite mystery show! Yes, some of the cases are wacky and the main characters antics wouldn't fly in real life, but it works as a TV show if serious content isn't expected. Some episodes are absolute gold, like its take on the classic Clue movie in the episode 100 Clues. But that's just my opinion.
Summary: Light-hearted, fast paced, silly (and that's a compliment)
I love quirky shows. This show only had two seasons, but they were absolute gems! With an old-fashioned, children's-book type narrator remarking on the obvious and foreshadowing the soon-to-be obvious plot points, the story moves forward at just the right pace. Plus, there's singing, dancing, and outlandish circumstances happening all over the place. I mean that in the best way possible. It's exactly what I'd expect of a show with the premise that a pie-maker named Ned can bring people back to life (temporarily) with a single touch.
Summary: Light-hearted, medium-paced, quirky and musical!
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
The main character makes me feel like I've been pulled back in time, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We follow an old fashioned postal worker who takes his job very seriously - finding the owners of lost letters with no addresses on their envelopes. Without any clues to follow, the postal workers must read the letters to deliver them to the right people. As they do so, they become involved in their stories. Season 1 does turn into a murder case that's ultimately resolved by the end of the season by these quaint, charming characters.
Summary: Light-hearted, slow-paced, sentimental
What are your favorite cozy TV shows? Comment here or on social media.
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