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The Top 7 Murder Mystery Shows for Preteen Girls

Updated on December 1, 2014

What Shows Inspire Curiousity?

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It's a Mystery

I love murder mysteries but they have to be a certain type. It can't be cliffhangers that go on forever; can't handle those- too stressful. They can't be too violent or have too much sexual content (although cursing doesn't bother me).

The best murder mystery has witty conversations with a plot that is just complicated enough to keep me on my toes. They are solved by the end of the show- the answer tied up neatly in a nice little bundle.

For preteens, the genre of the murder mystery should be introduced to them through well written books. That should be done first.In this article, however, I want to concentrate on murder mysteries we watch. Viewing them together as a family leads to a wonderful time with lively discussions after.

Mystery Woman

Mystery Woman Triple Feature
Mystery Woman Triple Feature

Very entertaining. The lead is a woman that owns a mystery book store and tags along with detectives to solve murder mysteries. Some of the writing is a little fluffy and not realistic, but the main character is smart and very appealing to preteen girls.

 
Source

My Murder Mystery List

These are the ones I felt are quality murder mystery productions with intrigue and storyline appropriate for a preteen.

  • Mystery Woman
  • Monk
  • Murder - She Wrote
  • Sherlock - Season One
  • Nancy Drew
  • Young Sherlock
  • Doctor Who (The Eleventh Doctor - Season One)

Monk

Monk - Season One
Monk - Season One

This is a terrific series. Monk is an ace detective who has OCD tendencies. The use of humor is well liked by my preteens. Well written. I personally like the earlier episodes with his assistant Sharona.

 

The Game is On

I'm glad our girls are watching less sitcoms and more detective dramas and Made-For-TV movies during their alloted screen time. In general, the scripts are better written.

Murder - She Wrote

Murder, She Wrote - The Complete First Season
Murder, She Wrote - The Complete First Season

Loved this series when I was young. Our girls found it a little dated, but it's worth a try. Maybe turn it into a tv critic activity and have them do a review on an episode.

 

Top TV Murder Mystery Series for Preteens +

All these shows wowed us from the beginning. I felt them appropriate for our daughters.

Sherlock - Season One

Sherlock: Season 1
Sherlock: Season 1

This series is outstanding. The scriptwriting, the acting are top notch. It is current so there are cellphones and texting woven into the story. Watson is played by the lead actor from "The Hobbit." There was one episode that went into sexual content so read the episode description or preview it before you view with your preteen.

 

Top Murder Mystery Movies for Preteens +

As far as movies go, our preteens have been getting into all the Anne Hathaway movies like "Princess Diaries." They are fun and well done. As far as murder mysteries, we have watched "Sherlock Holmes" with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, but the following shows I've listed below really 'hit the mark' for our kids.

Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew
Nancy Drew

This was a pleasant surprise we rented by chance and ended up buying. This movie was successful blending a girl detective character in the style of the original book with a modern setting. Great murder mystery for preteen girls.

 

Where Were You on the Night in Question?

Why are murder mysteries so appealing? It seems kind of gruesome when you first think of it. But I can see layers of meaning to why they 'hit the mark' for our brains.

  • They're exciting and thrilling without getting into real danger.
  • They're stimulating for the brain by getting it to think through the clues and try to come up with the answer before the main character does.
  • It's compelling because it's a 'life and death' situation.
  • It's escapist in a good way.

Young Sherlock Holmes

Young Sherlock Holmes
Young Sherlock Holmes

We thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's a period piece but very adventurous with a lot of action.

 

The Game is Afoot!

— Shakespeare quote reworded by Arthur Conan Doyle

Doctor Who - The Eleventh Hour

The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour

Okay, okay you got me. This is not a murder mystery or a movie per se. But they are a team that goes around the universe solving mysteries and helping humans and aliens alike. Excellent writing.This is an Amazon Rental.

Yes I am a Whovian and so are my preteens. We love the adventures and the character Amy is a good strong female role model. The banter is quick, but like Shakespeare, you get into the groove after a while.

 

Party Goods

These do-it-yourself party kits and the book remind me of my Magic School Bus birthday party I put together when my daughters were little. I dressed up as Ms. Frizzle with a red wig and dress and we had activity tables which included an erupting paper mache volcano! We made giant cardboard school buses the kids could customize. We had the theme music playing and experiments kids could take home. Lots and lots of fun.

Hosting a Mystery Party

How to Host a Teen Mystery: Barbecue with the Vampire
How to Host a Teen Mystery: Barbecue with the Vampire

I haven't gotten this yet but it has good reviews. I'm going to try this one or the next one here.

 

It's Elementary My Dear Guest

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    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 3 years ago

      @Merrci: Thank you so much! :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Great idea for a lens! And fun that I've seen most of your choices! They are perfect choices!

    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @artbyrodriguez: Thank you. I also liked the Trixie Belden series but I couldn't get my girls to read them. I like that there are girls as the detective stars in these books.

    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @Erin Mellor: We look forward to trying them! Glad to hear your feedback on that.

    • Kim Milai profile image
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      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @PinkstonePictures: One of my daughters loved that series. She read all of them I think. That's good advice for anyone looking for mystery books for their preteen, thank you.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      I started with Nancy Drew, too, when young. The titles of the books really drew me in. I didn't know there are updated versions. NIce lens!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      We've had some great fun with Murder Mystery games as themed evenings.

    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      You could also try The 39 Clues series - they're fantastic books and great for pre-teens - have you heard of them? Thank you so much for adding a link to my lens, that's so kind of you and much appreciated. I will return the favor :-D

    • Kim Milai profile image
      Author

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      @DebW07: Thank you so much. It's good to hear some consensus on these shows. I was hoping we weren't alone! :)

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      Nancy Drew was a favorite when my girls were pre-teens. Our family also enjoyed watching Monk and Murder She Wrote. Oh, and I don't like long cliffhangers either. Nice article.