8 Detective Shows That Capture Agatha Christie's Spirit (PHOTOS)

Nivea Serrao

Agatha Christie Aspirations

Agatha-Christie-playlist-224 Agatha Christie’s detective creations are known world over, with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and even Tommy and Tuppence all making the jump from the pages of her novels to the small screen.

Even Doctor Who paid homage to the prolific mystery novelist with the Season 4 episode, “The Unicorn and the Wasp," which had the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) traveling to the 1920s with his companion, Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), to crash a garden party attended by the author (played by Fenella Woolgar, above left).

When a gigantic wasp started killing guests, the trio worked to solve the mystery, which later inspired a future Christie book on the show, Death in the Clouds. (And in the Doctor Who world, Christie remained the best-selling novelist of all time, with books still in print in the year 5,000,000,000.) Bonus: the episode also "explained" the real-life mystery behind the writer’s 10-day disappearance.

So in celebration of Agatha Christie's 125th birthday (September 15), take a look at some of the other TV sleuths who best channel the essence of the best-selling novelist's "cozy mysteries” and her two most famous crime solvers.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

This Australian import features a detective adapted from author Kerry Greenwood’s historical mystery books of the same name. But while the live version of Miss Fisher (Essie Davis) appears to channel James Bond’s glamorous flair for adventure (and multiple lovers), she actually has the makings of a sassier (and sexier) Miss Marple. Her status as an independently-wealthy woman helps with resources as she insists on helping Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) with his cases while training her young female companion, Dot (Ashleigh Cummings), as an amateur sleuth.

Available on: Netflix, Acorn

ABC/Everett Collection

Murder, She Wrote

America’s answer to Miss Marple—whom star Angela Lansbury actually portrayed in the 1980 adaptation of The Mirror Crack’d—was mystery writer-turned-amateur detective, Jessica Fletcher. When not typing up best-selling novels on her iconic typewriter, the retired schoolteacher would spend time visiting friends in the town of Cabot Cove, often stumbling onto (and solving) mysteries and murder plots in the process. In fact, the show’s title is a nod to Murder, She Said, a film adaptation of the Miss Marple novel 4:50 from Paddington.

Available on: Netflix, Amazon Prime

ITV for MASTERPIECE; Everett Collection

Endeavour (and Inspector Morse)

Endeavor follows the younger incarnation (played by Shaun Evans) of Inspector Morse, Colin Dexter’s literary creation, which was also adapted into a long-running show of the same name. While the Detective Constable has yet to develop a drinking problem, his time at Oxford, coupled with his naturally-high intellect, often sees him putting his Poirot-like “little grey cells” to use solving complex murders alongside his boss/partner-in-crime-solving, Fred Thursday. And young Morse's love of opera, art and the classics also makes him a kindred spirit of Christie's famous Belgian detective.

Available on: Endeavor on Amazon Prime | Inspector Morse on Netflix, Hulu, Acorn

Robert Day/PBS

Inspector Lewis

The older Morse’s assistant gets a promotion—and his own spin off—with the series following the new Detective Inspector (Kevin Whately, reprising his role) as he continues to solve crimes in the Oxford area. What makes Lewis interesting is that he’s part of the working class—compared to other lead detectives—and that he often proves to have an intuition (like Morse) when it comes to catching suspects.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Des Willie/Lovely Day Productions/ITV for MASTERPIECE

Grantchester

Similar to Miss Marple, Anglican priest Sidney Chambers (James Norton) finds himself eliciting different kinds of confessions as he discovers a knack for solving crimes when assisting Detective Inspector Keating (Robson Green). The series is also an adaptation of James Runcie’s Grantchester Mysteries novels.

Available on: Amazon Prime

Rosemary and Thyme

Who knew the secret to cracking a case is some light gardening? Former police constable Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris) and academic horticulturist Rosemary Boxer (Felicity Kendal) are brought together by their love of gardening, which often sees the duo digging up clues—and untangling mysteries—whilst helping their friends and clients maintain healthy gardens.

Available on: Netflix, Acorn

Everett Collection

Midsomer Murders

The series itself is an adaptation of Caroline Graham’s Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, with the first episode based off The Killings at Badger’s Drift, which actually won an Agatha Award. The rest of the show’s soon-to-be 18 seasons have since captured the cozy-mystery tone of Christie’s crime novels as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and the various sergeants under his command solve the many murders that take place in Midsomer county. Following Tom’s retirement at the end of the Season 13, his cousin John (Neil Dudgeon), stepped into the lead role.

Available on: Netflix, Acorn

Pie in the Sky

Television is no stranger to quirky crime solvers, including Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe (Harry Potter's Richard Griffiths, who played loathsome Uncle Dursley). The long-serving police officer has to balance cracking crimes (and eggs) in his small English town while pursuing his true passion as head chef of his own restaurant, Pie in the Sky.

Available on: Acorn

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