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She’s No Lady; She’s a Cop

Rusty Unger’s ‘Prime Suspect’-esque Series

If you’re still jonesing for Helen Mirren’s venerable DCI Tennison in Prime Suspect, stream these series starring female detectives.

Happy Valley (Netflix)

Sarah Lancashire gives an indelible and award-winning performance as a Yorkshire police sergeant on the trail of a criminal with a dark family connection to her. Surprisingly tense and twisty, there’s a second season that’s equally excellent.

Above Suspicion (Amazon)

Based on novels written by Lynda La Plante (the writer-creator of Prime Suspect), rookie British Constable Anna Travis encounters bad guys both on the street and within her department for four seasons that were originally aired from ’09-’12.

The Fall (Netflix)

Set in Ireland and starring Gillian Anderson as a detective superintendent up against Jamie Dornan as a serial killer, it’s a full-fledged creepy nail-biter, but you can skip Season Three. And I know, I know: If you are in any way serious about streaming TV, you’ve already seen it.


Marcella (Netflix)

Marcella features a neurotic London detective on the trail of — yes, another — serial killer. It’s gripping, and you’ll be entertained, but here’s a warning about Season Two: It’s terrible.

The Commander (Amazon)

This is an oldie (’03-’08), but since it too was created by Lynda La Plante and stars the wonderful Amanda Burton as head of an elite London homicide team, it’s well worth the watch. There are five seasons, and even though the bobbies don’t have cell phones and the detectives don’t have laptops, it only makes solving the cases tougher. Plus, the Commander’s evolution from bumbling to brilliant is engrossing.

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