Detective Drama is a type of Mystery Fiction that follows the cases of a central detective character as they investigate a crime, usually from initial investigation to arrest. The character is usually a police detective or Private Detective (or in film noir, a Hardboiled Detective), but can also be an Amateur Sleuth or even a Kid Detective with strong sleuthing skills.
There are two varieties of Detective Drama, which correspond to the two basic types of mystery: closed and open. In a "closed" mystery, the viewer is as in the dark as the detective (and maybe more so), and only learns the answer to the mystery when the detective reveals it. In an "open" mystery (Reverse Whodunnit), the viewer has an omniscient view of the plot and knows the solution to the mystery; the entertainment value comes from watching the detective unravel it themself.
For common types of detectives, see Cops and Detectives.
For a list of related tropes, see Mystery Tropes and Crime and Punishment Tropes. For a list of creators, see Mystery Story Creator Index.
- See also Mystery and Detective Anime & Manga
- The Big O
- Bubblegum Crisis
- Case Closed
- Case File nº221: Kabukicho
- The Case Files of Yakushiji Ryoko
- Cop Craft
- Death Note is a reverse whodunnit with the detectives as Hero Antagonists.
- The Detective is Already Dead
- Detective School Q
- Doraemon: Nobita's Secret Gadget Museum
- Ghost Talker's Daydream
- Hero Mask
- ID: Invaded
- The Kindaichi Case Files
- MPD Psycho
- Mugen Shinshi
- Phantom Quest Corp.
- Police in a Pod (Partly)
- Special 7: Special Crime Investigation Unit
- Ace Powers is the head of the city's detective bureau, and the comic chronicles his weird adventures.
- Batman: Gordon of Gotham: Each story follows normal cops investigating crimes committed by non-costumed criminals, while Batman only makes cameo appearances. The book is a Spiritual Predecessor of sorts to Gotham Central, which also features Gotham cops working cases without Batman.
- The Crusader chronicles the adventures of a Nazi fighting detective.
- Gotham Central manages to put a standard Detective Drama into the world of superheroes within a comic book. Their foes might be Batman and The Flash supervillains, but the storylines are straight drama involving normal police detectives going about their work. Everybody said it would not work, but it wound up winning critical acclaim and several awards (but was still too good to last, the sales numbers never quite matched the praise).
- Resident Alien stars Amateur Sleuth Harry Vanderspiegle, who also happens to be a stranded alien.
- Ric Hochet tells the adventures of Ric Hochet, an amateur detective, who solving various crimes.
- See also Detective Literature
- The Three Apples, a story from Arabian Nights, is the Ur-Example. Basic setup; a crime occurs and Ja'far ibn Yahya has three days to solve it. However, it differs in that, not only does Ja'far not care about solving the case, he doesn't. The case is solved when the killer reveals himself. And during another case, Ja'far only solves the case at the very last second thanks to some blind luck.
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens is considered the first English novel to have a major character be a police detective (Mr. Bucket) with a crime-solving role in the plot.
- Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin stories are the Trope Maker.
- Sherlock Holmes is the Trope Codifier.
- See also CrimeAndPunishmentSeries.Detective Drama
- Our Miss Brooks: The episode "Postage Due" is a Detective Drama.
- Toppatakkeja ja Toledon Terästä A Finnish concept album with detective drama story.
- 64th Street: A Detective Story
- Alone in the Dark (2023)
- Blacksad: Under the Skin
- Caper in the Castro
- Chicken Police
- Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders
- Detective Grimoire
- Disco Elysium, although it is a Genre Deconstruction
- L.A. Noire
- Master Detective Archives: Rain Code
- Nick Bounty
- Parasite Eve
- The Space Bar
- Tex Murphy
- A Certain Scientific Railgun (PlayStation Portable adaptation)
- Some of the stories in Choices: Stories You Play:
- The visual-novel entries in the Danganronpa series.
- Famicom Detective Club
- Jake Hunter
- Process of Elimination
- Umineko: When They Cry: A deconstruction, along with many other tropes.
- Archibald the Koala
- Some episodes of Barbapapa would feature Detective Barbabravo, his assistant Barbabright, and his dog Lolita.
- Darkwing Duck
- Llan-ar-goll-en, though it's worth noting that it is a Preschool Show, and nobody gets punished for stealing things as most of the time it's accidental.
- Mira, Royal Detective (also a Preschool Show)
- Ruby Rocket Private Detective
- The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries