Best Mystery Series on Netflix: Puzzles, Thrills And Murder Streaming Now

By Phillip Moyer | Published

A good mystery series is hard to beat. Whether it’s a detective story, police procedural, or legal drama, there’s a thrill to watching the characters unravel a crime, mysterious occurrence, or other enigmatic puzzles. There are plenty of these sorts of shows on Netflix, but these are five of the best on the streaming giant’s service. 

1. The Watcher

Netflix mystery

Most mystery shows follow multiple mysteries across the course of a season. The Netflix original series The Watcher, however, centers around just one mystery: who the heck is the stalker who keeps leaving creepy notes at a family’s newly purchased dream home? 

Based on a chilling true story released on New York Magazine’s The Cut, it tells the tale of a family who received an increasingly disturbing series of letters from someone who had clearly been surveilling them. The ominous letters became threatening towards the family’s kids, making the mother and father paranoid of everyone in the neighborhood.

The Watcher was intended to be a miniseries, but the Emmy-nominated series was successful enough for Netflix to greenlight a second season.

2. Get Even

Get Even series

Get Even is a bit of an odd one, as far as mysteries go. Produced by the BBC but marketed as a Netflix original series, follows a clique of high school vigilantes who form a club to dispense justice on bullies. However, things take a turn after a classmate is murdered, and found clutching a note with the initials “DGM” — standing for the girls’ club’s name, “Don’t Get Mad.” The girls are forced to find the real murderer to prove DGM’s innocence.

Based on the novel “Don’t Get Mad” by author Gretchen McNeil, the series’ unique location and tone make it stand out among other mystery shows.

3. Stay Close

Stay Close mystery on netflix

An eight-episode miniseries rather than a multi-season show, Stay Close manages to pack quite a punch over the course of its narrative. Based on the 2012 mystery novel, Stay Close is one of six Netflix original series based on the writings of Harlan Coben — and arguably the best one of the bunch. 

The show follows a failed photojournalist, a housewife, and a detective who all get caught up in the disappearance of a man on the seventeenth anniversary of a cold case that still haunts the detective. The show has been praised for its ominous tone and intense storytelling, which covers a complicated mystery at a lightning-fast pace.

4. The Lincoln Lawyer

Netflix crime mystery

The common image of a Lawyer is that of a well-dressed man working in a fancy office. Idealistic defense attorney Mickey Haller fits the look, but his office is unconventional: the back of a Lincoln Navigator, chauffeured by a former client of his. Throughout this Netflix series, you get to see Haller investigate his clients’.

While The Lincoln Lawyer is billed as a legal drama, it has a lot in common with a detective story, featuring Haller investigating and solving complex cases, complete with plot twists and occasional danger. It’s not hard to see why — the book series the show is based on was created by detective novelist Michael Connelly, who is most famous for creating LAPD detective Harry Bosch — a character who has his own series on Amazon Prime.

5. Mindhunter

Mindhunter series on Netflix

Most mysteries deal with finding physical clues or uncovering information through interviewing witnesses and looking into characters’ backgrounds. Netflix’s original series Mindhunter takes a different approach: focusing on the psychological profiles of serial killers to help crack cases. And for good reason, too: the series is based on the true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, which focuses on author John E. Douglas’ time spent “criminal-personality profiling” for the FBI. 

Mindhunter revels in its darker tone, which meshes perfectly with its psychological elements. It helps that five of the series’s 19 episodes were directed by David Fincher, the acclaimed director responsible for Se7enFight Club, and Zodiac. Fincher is reportedly also working with Netflix to create a TV series based on Se7en.