The death of a loved one is a difficult pill to swallow. The world suddenly turns dark and the colors fade. Death has a brutal effect when life revolves entirely around that one person. Anna Maria Mühe’s character Brünhilde Blum in Frau der Toten experiences her world collapsing when her husband dies before her eyes. The crime series created by Barbara Stepansky, Wolfgang Müller and Benito Müller based on Bernhard Aichner’s book series of the same name shows Blum’s efforts to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The series, originally titled Totenfrau, is a gripping story with threatening scenes that make you despair. While searching for the killers, Blum uncovers various hidden secrets in her hometown. The story unfolds as Blum finds herself alone in her investigation and startling revelations keep testing her courage. If this Austrian series has whetted your appetite for more exciting detective stories, then you should take a look at the following suggestions. You can watch most of these series that are comparable to Woman of the Dead on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. The Outsiders (2020)
Based on Stephen King’s novel, The Outsider is a drama series developed and written by Richard Price and starring Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp, Paddy Considine and Julianne Nicholson. The series follows the story of Detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) who investigates the murder of a young boy in the small town of Cherokee City, Georgia.
As Ralph and his team delve deeper into the case, they uncover evidence that suggests the boy’s killer may be a sinister being. The series has been praised for its ability to blend elements of crime and horror. While there are no supernatural elements in Woman of the Dead, the entanglement of ordinary people in a web of crime and murder is common in both series. Also, both series are set in a small town.
7. Deadwind (2018-2021)
‘Karppi’ or ‘Deadwind’ is a Finnish television crime series that tells the story of detective Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala) who investigates the murder of a woman whose body was found at a construction site in Helsinki. As she deepens the case, she uncovers a web of corruption and fraud that reaches up to the highest echelons of society.
The series received critical acclaim for its writing, acting, and atmosphere, and for portraying complex and flawed female characters. The latter aspect is also portrayed in Blum’s Woman of the Dead. In addition, both are European series with stunning cinematography and an intriguing storyline.
6. Border Town (2016-2019)
The Finnish crime series Bordertown, originally titled Sorjonen, tells the story of detective Kari Sorjonen (Ville Virtanen) who, after the death of his wife, moves with his family to the small town of Lappeenranta on the Finnish-Russian border to start a new life. When Kari investigates crimes in the area, he becomes drawn into a web of corruption and fraud that stretches across the border.
Blum may not be a detective like Kari, but the protagonists of both series make every effort to solve the murders and mysteries that surround them. Additionally, Miikko Oikkonen’s Woman of the Dead creation is quite similar in terms of overall tonality and sinister plot.
5. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (2022)
The Britbox miniseries Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? Based on the novel of the same name by bestselling author Agatha Christie. The series follows the story of a young man named Bobby Jones who stumbles upon a dying man on the golf course and becomes involved in a mystery involving a hidden fortune and a missing heiress.
As Bobby and his friend Frankie try to solve the mystery, they must navigate a quagmire of lies, deceit and danger. Directed by Hugh Laurie, the series follows Bobby and Frankie on their quest to solve the mystery. Also, like Blum in Woman of the Dead, they are not detectives but have a vested interest in finding the killer.
4. Sharp Objects (2018)
‘Sharp Objects’ is a drama miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the script is by Flynn, Marti Noxon and Vallée. It stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, a journalist who returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. She has to deal with her difficult past and the dysfunctional relationships within her family.
Obviously, the show explores themes of mental health, grief management, and the overarching tension of a committed murder. These facets are similar to the story and portrayal in Woman of the Dead. In addition, both series revolve around a small town that hides numerous secrets and a menacing past.
3. Top of the Lake (2013-2017)
Developed and written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, Top of the Lake mystery drama series follows the story of detective Robin Griffin. She investigates the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl in her hometown in New Zealand. As she deepens the case, she uncovers a web of corruption and sexual abuse hidden within the small community.
At the same time she has to deal with her own troubled past and the complicated relationships within her family. The series explores themes of power, abuse and the bond between mothers and daughters. Also, Robin and Blum get in trouble with their towns because of their investigative methods. Consequently, they must face the truth and the consequences alone in order to get to the bottom of the murder.
In Chris’s Chibnall, created and written by British crime series Broadchurch, David Tennant and Olivia Colman play the two detectives tasked with solving a murder. However, the series is set in the small, fictional town of Broadchurch in Dorset, England. Although the series follows the crime’s impact on the local community, the private lives of the investigators are also drawn into the storyline.
The grief and media interest that follow Danny’s death puts the city in the spotlight. The series also delves into the intricacies of life in a small town. In both series, Woman of the Dead and Broadchurch, the life of the protagonists and the people of the city spirals out of control after a sudden death. Also, exploring the details and motive of the murder form the plot of both series.
1. The Mare of Easttown (2021)
In Mare of Easttown, Kate Winslet plays the role of Mare Sheehan, a detective in the fictional town of Easttown, Pennsylvania, who investigates a murder while simultaneously dealing with personal issues in her own life. Created by Brad Ingelsby, the series has received critical acclaim for its authentic portrayal of working class life in a small town and its candid portrayal of grief, addiction and adultery.
Anyone who liked Blum’s determination and tenacity in solving the murder case will enjoy seeing Mare in her natural element. Also, both are strong female protagonists who try their best to solve the mysteries surrounding their cities and personal lives.