9 Best ‘Howcatchem’ Detectives If You Miss Elsbeth Already

9 Best ‘Howcatchem’ Detectives If You Miss Elsbeth Already
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Yes, we find out who the killer is right away, but that doesn't make the story any less intriguing.

Elsbeth won over millions of viewers not only because it was a spin-off of another successful show, but because this project used a formula that is not so common in the crime genre – howcatchem.

We know who the killer is at the very beginning of the episode, and the rest of the time watch as the police or detectives try to catch the criminal.

The first season of Elsbeth ended on May 23, and the second season will not be released for a few more months, so we have chosen nine of the best projects where you find out the identity of the killer in the first minutes of watching.

1. Poker Face, 2023-...

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Charlie has a gift that is especially useful in poker. The gambling enthusiast can tell instantly when an opponent is lying or telling the truth. One day, Charlie's amazing talent is discovered by the owner of a large Nevada casino, Sterling. But the murder of her colleague and friend Natalie forces Charlie to become a detective.

In each episode, Charlie arrives at a new location in search of work and is confronted with murder. Instead of a whodunit, there is a howcatchem where we know who the criminal is – the only question is whether amateur investigator Charlie, with her ability to sense lies, will be able to figure out the villain.

2. Diagnosis Murder, 1993-2001

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Mark Sloan has built a successful medical career. He has earned the respect of his colleagues and is doing what he loves, but his dreams were not exactly like that. In his dreams, Mark works as a detective. Often the doctor cannot help but notice obvious things that his patients are hiding, and in such cases he turns to his son who works as a policeman for help.

They manage to solve the most difficult cases, because the passion for investigation is in their blood. They do not work alone, but are helped by Amanda Bentley, who works as a pathologist, and Jack Stewart, who has the skills of a brilliant inventor.

3. Luther, 2010-2019

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The main character, Luther, is a London police detective who usually takes on the toughest cases. But his brilliant investigative mind lacks self-control when it comes to his personal life. And Luther's passion for his work has damaged most of his relationships.

The success of this series is due not only to the outstanding performance of Idris Elba, but also to the painstaking work of creator and writer Neil Cross. According to his idea, Luther is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Detective Columbo – and he took the main feature of the latter show: the viewer always knows who the killer is, but does not know how he will be caught.

4. Columbo, 1971-2003

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Speaking of. Columbo is an awkward Italian in a rumpled raincoat and a cheap cigar who hangs around and asks a lot of questions. He is deliberately absent-minded so that the criminals see him as a pawn. And when they relax and make mistakes, the detective comes out of the shell of a not-so-brilliant cop and catches them.

Columbo is probably the best detective series where everything is good: from sound editing and lighting to the work of the scriptwriter, cameraman and director. Each episode of the project is the pinnacle of television series craftsmanship and all fans of detectives must see this show.

5. Motive, 2013-2016

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Motive tells viewers within the first few minutes of each episode who committed the crime being investigated in that episode. How does it keep the intrigue going?

First, by showing how insightful detectives Angie Flynn and Oscar Vega gradually tighten the noose around the criminal, and second, by hiding the motives for the crime until the finale, leaving viewers to guess why, for example, a respected police officer killed a famous prosecutor.

This approach to detective storytelling is interesting because it allows the viewer to spend a lot of time in the company of the criminal and the victim, and to feel that these characters are not puzzle pieces, but full-fledged people.

6. Monk, 2002-2009

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It seemed that nothing could stop the career rise of Detective Adrian Monk. But the unsolved murder of his beloved wife was too hard a blow for him. The experienced stress led to serious psychological disorders, absolutely incompatible with police work, and he had to leave the service.

Monk is now constantly accompanied by nurse Sharona, who tries to help him regain his lost mental and physical strength. And gradually, Sharona becomes for Monk what Dr. Watson was for Sherlock Holmes. Meanwhile, the police department is struggling to solve another complicated case and finally realizes the need to involve Monk as a private consultant in the investigation.

7. The Fall, 2013-2016

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The main character, Detective Stella Gibson, is trying to solve a series of murders committed by Paul Spector, a man who can hardly inspire suspicion. Every day he pretends to be a decent family man who works diligently as a professional psychologist. Spector never gives Gibson a chance to recognize him as a serial killer, but she never gives up hope that one day she will be able to catch a dangerous madman at the scene of the crime.

There is no intrigue – the viewer immediately gets to know Paul. He is an exemplary family man, a father of two children and a psychologist. What drives him to commit these murders? An excellent example of a detective story in which the killer is known in advance, The Fall focuses on the psychological aspect of the investigation.

8. Mr. Mercedes, 2017-2019

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One of the rare but extremely successful experiments of Stephen King, who gave us unforgettable images of not only fictional monsters, but also killers. Mr. Mercedes was written in the detective genre, the main character is an elderly retired policeman named Bill Hodges, who does not lose hope to solve his last case even after retirement.

The psychopath Brady Hartsfield does not intend to leave the policeman alone either. He is already preparing a new attack, which he openly hints at to his police pursuer. The cat-and-mouse game eventually takes a rather dangerous turn, especially for Hodges himself.

9. Dr. Death, 2021-2023

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Dr. Christopher Duntsch is a very real figure, a surgeon who, over the course of several years of medical practice, crippled more than 30 patients and killed two more.

By focusing from the beginning on one patient on whom Duntsch performed an unsuccessful, albeit simple from the point of view of modern surgery, operation, the authors of the series show the formation of a terrible doctor. But they are not interested in how he rolled to the anti-career of the most terrible surgeon of our time, but why.

The investigation is led by Dr. Henderson and Dr. Kirby. In an attempt to understand how and who allowed Duntsch to perform surgeries, and to get him banned from practicing medicine in at least one state, two experienced doctors involuntarily become detectives.