Only Murders in the Building may be done for now — after Ben Gilroy’s (Paul Rudd) murder was solved in the third season finale. But binge-worthy whodunnits with elusive killers pursued by troubled detectives or amateur sleuths are everywhere.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter plucks 10 murder mysteries to keep viewers sharp and solving crime puzzles until the Hulu murder mystery comedy returns — with the intrepid trio played by Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez — for an even deadlier fourth season (following that cliffhanger).
Get set for more more mutilated victims left at the bottom of staircases, more clues left behind, more dark and evil killers, and more prime suspects in their own webs of lies and deceit to be played by mega Hollywood stars, all to keep you guessing and engaged from the safety of your living room couch.
The Afterparty (Apple TV+)
Only Murders in the Building thrives on the comic alchemy between its three main leads. The same holds true with Apple TV+’s The Afterparty. This murder mystery anthology series from creator Chris Miller followed a high school reunion where Xavier, a pop star played by Dave Franco, died under fishy circumstances. And driving the funny whodunnit has been Tiffany Hadidsh as Detective Danner, who in each episode faced a different TV genre to match the perspective of performers with comedic gifts like Sam Richardson, Ben Schwartz, Ilana Glazer and Zoe Chao. The series was recently canceled by Apple, but there are two seasons to binge. (Read season two spoilers here.)
The Flight Attendant (Max)
Kaley Cuoco in The Flight Attendant
Solving murder mysteries is all about establishing motive and opportunity. And in Max’s The Flight Attendant, that’s complicated as Cassie Bowden, played by Kaley Cuoco, is the prime suspect in her own investigation. The jet-setting party girl is forced to use her amateur wits to solve the death of her scruffy-yet-rich lover in Bangkok. Cassie is helped by her attorney pal Annie (Zosia Mamet) as she’s pursued by FBI agents played by Merle Dandridge and Nolan Gerard Funk. It was Cuoco’s first TV turn after her star run on The Big Bang Theory. And of course with each new season comes another murder. Season two — with a James Bond thriller vibe — had Cuoco going sober in Los Angeles while moonlighting as a CIA asset, only to witness a murder and get caught up in another freewheeling international incident. (The jury is out on if the creative team plans for a third season.)
Poker Face (Peacock)
Natasha Lyonne in Poker Face
Peacock’s Poker Face, from Knives Out auteur Rian Johnson, has a novel twist: Russian Doll star Natasha Lyonne plays Charlie Cale, a cocktail waitress at a slightly tawdry Vegas casino far off the Strip with no experience solving murders, but an infallible nose for detecting lies. Turns out that gift is also a curse, based on her past. So Charlie is soon on the run as a wandering crime angel, solving murders wherever she goes. And with so many bad guys or victims, you get many celebrities: Cherry Jones, Nick Nolte, Lil Rel Howery, Chloe Sevigny, Adrien Brody, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Barkin, Judith Light and John Ratzenberger all have guest-starring roles in showrunners Nora and Lilla Zuckerman’s twist on the classic Columbo murder-of-the-week format. (Read spoilers for season two here.)
Based on a True Story (Peacock)
Given the sheer number of true crime podcasts out there, it’s no surprise the Peacock comedic thriller Based on a True Story includes creating a podcast to catch a killer. In an echo of Only Murders in the Building and its podcast, this time Kaley Cuoco and Chris Messina play an unfulfilled West Los Angeles couple who try to turn their lives around by recruiting an actual serial killer for a podcast that explores a murderer’s mind. But after their friend is murdered, the stakes couldn’t get higher. Suddenly accessories to murder, the former tennis star and struggling real estate agent must catch the bad guy wreaking havoc in Los Angeles or their wild journey of blackmailing a killer to juice their podcast could end very badly. Based on a True Story is headed to a second season on the streamer.
Search Party (TBS, HBO, Max)
Alia Shawkat in Search Party
There’s more New York City crime solvers in Search Party, a mystery comedy that begins with Dory, played by Alia Shawkat, obsessing over a missing-persons case involving her college acquaintance. But Dory ends up as the villain of the piece, accidentally killing — in a paranoid frenzy — the private investigator (Ron Livingston) she was cheating with on boyfriend Drew, played by John Reynolds. There are so many twists and turns to keep you on your toes, as Dory goes from lost, yet fresh-faced millennial in season one to life as a conniving sociopath by the fourth season in the horror comedy from creators Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers. Bonus: The fifth and final season booked guest stars Kathy Griffin, John Waters and Jeff Goldblum.
Murder Mystery (Netflix)
Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in Netflix’s aptly-named Murder Mystery movies are the Spitzes, ordinary Americans thrown into a whodunnit with all the hallmarks of an Agatha Christie thriller. There’s an elderly billionaire murdered in Monte Carlo, suave aristocrats featured as suspects with secrets, the Spitzes framed as likely killers by French police, and Danny Boon as Inspector de la Croix to gather everyone in one room to announce the guilty one. All that’s missing is the Orient Express, but a glammed-up Sandler and Aniston on the lam in a red Ferrari along the Mediterranean does just as well. Hijinks ensue as they rush to solve the murder on their own to prove their innocence. Netflix did two Murder Mystery franchise movies.
Veronica Mars (Hulu)
The best crime mystery shows like Only Murders in the Building have with every central case so many possible suspects, and many guest-starring cameo roles for Hollywood celebrities. Veronica Mars, which returned for a fourth season on Hulu in 2019 (16 years after the original show ended) is a case in point. The cult crime drama about a high school student, played by Kristen Bell, who works cases with her private investigator dad (Enrico Colantoni). The series kicked off with the murder of Lily Kane, played by Amanda Seyfried. Tessa Thompson played the spoiled daughter of a pro baseball legend, and Krysten Ritter played Gia Goodman, a classmate of Veronica’s. Other cameos: Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls, Percy Daggs III as Wallace Fennel, Francis Capra as Eli “Weevil” Navarro, Ryan Hansen as Dick Casablancas. The list of guest stars is endless, and so too the viewing.
If you loved Only Murders in the Buildings, it’s likely because crime capers are perfect for comedy, or more precisely: a crimedy. Take Psych, which ran on USA Network for eight seasons. The quirky detective series, which starred James Roday as Shawn Spencer and Dulé Hill as Gus Guster, portrayed a fake psychic and his intrepid best friend conning the cops to work with them to solve crimes. Psych’s fearless fun came out of endless pop culture references and homages to classics like Clue, The Shining and Twin Peaks. Maggie Lawson also starred as a tough-as-nails detective, Kristen Nelson played an interim chief of police and Corbin Bensen was Spencer’s disapproving father. And to keep everyone guessing, Psych’s 100th episode, “100 Clues,” features Shawn and Gus at a Santa Barbara mansion where a deadly crime is committed, five suspects emerge and series fans chose the guilty party in real time by voting online. Psych is so popular with fans, Peacock released two movies based on the series.
Monk (Peacock, Prime Video)
Who doesn’t like a crime drama about a brilliant detective? The USA series Monk has Tony Shalhoub playing detective-turned-crime consultant Adrian Monk, who just happens to have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sure, he’s got a couple big phobias tied to his OCD. But Monk’s chronic anxiety and neurological issues help him solve crimes for the San Francisco police department. There’s touching comic drama as murders are solved and viewers get used to Monk’s idiosyncrasies. The bonus is guest starring roles for Jason Alexander as a rival private investigator and perfect foil to Monk in season four, Stanley Tucci playing a manic Method actor portraying Monk in a movie based on one of his celebrated cases in season five, and Sarah Silverman playing Marci Maven, Monk’s obsessive fan, in season six. Peacock recently greenlit a movie reuniting Shalhoub and the cast and creative team.
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The buddy black comedy Dead to Me throws together Jen, played a Christina Applegate, as a rage-filled widow mourning the death of her husband in an unsolved hit-and-run accident, and Judy (Linda Cardellini) after both meet in a grief group. Judy is a flighty free spirit who lost her fiancé, so she has her own trauma issues. But in no time, Jen and Judy bond, each drawing from the other what they lack in themselves. This murder mystery has more twists and turns than can be revealed as spoilers. That said, Dead to Me is a meditation on grief and friendship. And it turns out, Judy and Jen leaned on one another for more than solving a crime. The third season coincided with Applegate being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which earned Cardinelli a shout-out for her support on-set through production. (Read series finale spoilers here.)