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KajoPicks: 10 Chinese detective dramas you need to watch

If you are interested in Chinese detective dramas, here are KajoMag’s suggestions:

1.Love Me if You Dare (2015)

Impressive acting, diverse character and intriguing storyline; these are just some of the phrases to describe Love Me if You Dare (2015).

The lead of the drama is Bo Jinyan or Simon (Wallace Huo), a brilliant criminal psychologist. He works as an analyst and adviser of the police department.

Meanwhile, his assistant Jenny or Jian Yao (Sandra Ma) is an observant and analytical whose eyes on details always comes in handy in solving cases.

Together, they are hunting a serial killer who eventually turns his target on the duo.

The drama is full of suspense, especially in hunting down the real criminal mastermind behind all the cases they encountered.

Love Me if You Dare (2015) won the Innovative Themed Drama of the Year award in the first China Quality Television Drama Ceremony.

If you love the male lead as a genius detective but slightly quirky and eccentric, this is the drama for you.

It is originally adapted from Ding Mo’s novel of the same name published in July 2014.

2.When a Snail Falls in Love (2016)

Do not be fooled by the title of this Chinese detective drama, it is barely a romantic story. It is based on the novel of the same title written by the same author of Love Me if You Dare, Ding Mo.

Just like Love Me if You Dare, this drama offers amazing storytelling, plot twists and full of suspense along the way.

It circles around Ji Bai (Wang Kai), the leader of the Violent Crime Unit and the new intern Xu Xu (Wang Ziwen) who specialises in criminal profiling.

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As a hobby, Xu Xu draws comic panels of the life of their department, portraying herself as a snail and Jin as a lion.

They have plenty of clashes between them in the beginning but eventually they overcome their difference and work well together as a team.

Watch this drama here on Youtube.

3.Medical Examiner Dr. Qin

If you love watching CSI, then you will love this Chinese detective drama.

It is one of those police procedural dramas focuses on the forensic aspect of a criminal investigation.

The drama follows an investigation team consisting of medical examiner Qin Ming (Zhang Ruoyun), his assistant Li Dabao (Jiao Junyan) and police officer Lin Tao (Li Xian).

The criminal cases featured in this drama are unpredictable, intriguing and full of suspense.

However, save yourself from disappointment and do not watch the second season of Medical Examiner Dr. Qin.

4.Detective L (2019)

Set in 1930s Shanghai, this Chinese detective drama definitely worth watching. It has fascinating cinematography, unpredictable story line and impressive acting.

This story centers around detective Luo Fei (Johnny Bai) and a new recruit Qin Xiao Man (Una You).

Unlike other Chinese detective dramas, Detective L focuses on crimes that could happen in 1930s Shanghai and how detectives would solve them using whatever they had in those days.

And that usually involved a lot of observation and analytical skills.

If you loved Sherlock Holmes, you might enjoy this drama too.

5.Young Blood Agency (2019)

Here is another Chinese detective drama set during the Republican era of Shanghai.

Young Blood Agency is an investigative agency dedicated to solving mysterious cases. The crimes are mostly unpredictable and intriguing enough to keep viewers watching.

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Starring Jerry Yu, Tonny Liou, Li Xing and Zhang Wei Hang, this drama is also another youth drama.

If you are into handsome young men as the lead actors and old school kungfu scenes, this drama is for you.

You can watch this drama on YoYo English Channel on Youtube here.

6.Visible Lie (2018)

This Chinese detective drama is almost similar to American crime drama Lie to Me starring Tim Roth.

It centers around a genius student Xu Lang (Juck Zhang) who graduated in Criminal Psychology.

He joins the public security bureau after his graduation. While solving a cases, he got severely injured and ended up losing his younger brother.

The drama continues seven years later with Xu Lang now working as a professor.

Then, his friend Tang Sen invites him to join the newly established “Criminal Psychology Team X”.

Together with two other, the team focuses on solving unsolved cases using criminal psychology.

7.Cold Case (2019)

Speaking of unsolved cases, here is a Chinese detective drama which centers around them.

The best part is this drama is all about girl power as it the story focuses on four female detectives in reopening cold cases.

The team is made of Luo Ying Wei, Cai Wen Xin, Xia Luo Yang and Feng Yi.

Each of them has her own quirk and gift to bring to the table.

As they continue to solve cases, little that they know that they are up against a massive drug syndicate.

Watch this drama legally here for free.

8.Guardian (2018)

Based on web novel of the same name, here is a Chinese detective drama with a dose of fantasy.

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It is set on the Earth-like planet of Haixing, populated by a native human population and two alien races.

The Yashou who are able to shape-shift into plants and animals and Dixing, super-powered beings who live deep underground.

Bai Yu plays Zhao Yunlan who leads the Special Investigation Department (SID).

Unlike other investigation team, it is a secret group that works with crimes committed by the Dixing people.

Zhao Yunlan works together with Shen Wei (Zhu Yilong), a university professor to investigate supernatural cases around them.

While the novel depicts the pair has a romantic relationship, the drama depicts their relationship to be just friends because it is prohibited to depict same-sex relationships on television.

9.Burning Ice (2017)

Based on the novel The Untouched Crime by Chen Zijin, Burning Ice (2017) circles around Detective Liang Yan (Hao Qin).

After being demoted due to his aggressive behaviour, he tries to redeem himself.

That is when he comes across a cold case which he believed caused by a killer he has been chasing.

The killer, known as The Snowman, becomes the centre of investigation throughout the series.

10.Memory Lost (2016)

Memory Lost (2016) is another Chinese detective drama starred by Bai Yu. In this drama, he plays Han Chen the vice-chief of the civic police team.

He loses his memory but is haunted by mysterious memories of his fiancee. Han Chen gets confused because everyone denies her existence.

Meanwhile, another member of the civic police team Bai Jingxi (Yang Rong) also lose her memory. Is there something happened in their pasts?

Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at or Twitter at @patriciahului.

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