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Crime-solving Chemistry: top 10 sleuthing couples

Flashes of eye contact in the interview room. Flirty smiles in the fingerprint lab. Lingering glances over rotting, bullet-ridden corpses.

Secret, passionate feelings about colleagues are pretty commonplace on TV crime shows, aren’t they? It’s almost as if a good detective can’t function unless they have unresolved lustings towards their partner.

We’ve pulled together a list of our top ten favourite crime solving couples who juggle tracking down bad guys with amorous intrigue. Has your favourite duo made the list?

(Warning: may contain some spoilers and properly soppy romance)

crime solving couples
10. Wayne Rigsby & Grace Van Pelt
The Mentalist

The Mentalist simply sizzles with sexual chemistry. Our hero Patrick Jane and Special Agent Theresa Lisbon have the classic love/hate relationship that drives so many great cop shows (and you know they secretly fancy each other…). But it’s Rigsby (no, not Rising Damp‘s Rigsby!) and Van Pelt that have the most repressed feelings towards each other. Well, they did. Until – like in Jonathan Creek and Moonlighting – they got it on, then off, then on again.

crime solving couples
9. Jonathan Creek & Maddy Magellan
Jonathan Creek

Jonathan Creek was a classic case of hard-nosed female investigative journalist meets big-haired magician who lives in a windmill. Caroline Quentin’s no nonsense Maddy was more than a match for Alan Davies’ mad genius magic man Creek. They may not have been the most glamourous pairing in TV history, but they certainly kept us guessing as they solved various odd murders. Like a few other duos on this list, they did eventually consummate their relationship. But there was no magic there sadly and they agreed to forget about all about it. Aaaah…

crime solving couples
8. Sarah Linden & Stephen Holder
The Killing – US Version

In the original Danish Killing series that this AMC show is based on, the real only feelings of love the main character Sarah has are directed towards her knitwear collection. But in the slightly inferior (but still eminently watchable) US remake, Sarah’s bickering, jocular relationship with her partner grows ever more intriguing. Especially as tensions between her and her fiancé mount.

crime solving couples
7. Gil Grissom & Sara Sidle
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Fans of the original CSI show may remember grizzled Gil Grissom and his younger colleague Sara’s instant attraction and bond. But both were so professional and dedicated to looking at tiny bits of dead people under massive microscopes that neither of them acted on their feelings. For six long series! But when they did, CSI portrayed their relationship – rather unusually for a TV show – with admirable restraint and realism. There was no ‘Gil saving Sara from a madman’, no ‘mad dash to the airport’ scene. It was just two people in love getting together. And it was quite beautiful. Excuse us, we’ve got something in our eye. *sniff*

crime solving couples
6. Dr. Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan & Special Agent Seeley Booth

When you’ve got a leading man as dashing as former Angel star David Boreanaz, it’s probably pretty difficult not to write some sort of romantic sub-plots into your show! The tried and tested ‘opposites attract’ set-up drives the spark between Boreanaz’s Booth and ‘Bones’ herself, played by Zooey’s sister, Emily Deschanel. They finally marry at the end of season nine. Beautiful.

crime solving couples
5. Gene Hunt & Alex Drake
Ashes to Ashes

The ’80s-set BBC cop show Life on Mars follow-up really captured the nation’s hearts during its three year run. The Audi Quattro, the daft fashion, the irrepressible DCI Gene Hunt and his smorgasbord of hilarious quotes…But the sizzling secret sexiness between Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes really fuelled viewers’ imaginations. Those of us tuning in each week had to wait until the final last episode to watch the crime-solving pair hook up. Between the two of them, they really fired up the Quattro!

crime solving couples
4. Richard Castle & Kate Beckett

Castle is a crime writer. Beckett is a NYPD detective. They’re made to work with each other. They don’t like each other. But guess what? That soon changes – of course it does. Described as “Moonlighting meets Murder She Wrote“, Castle is one of the few shows in this list to really play on the sexual chemistry angle, as opposed to just refer to it sporadically. But it doesn’t overblow it. Watch more than one episode of this and you’ll find screaming ‘KISS!’ at the screen roughly every two minutes… ‘Go on – KISS!’

crime solving couples
3. Ziva David & Tony DiNozzo

Voted America’s favourite TV show from 2008 – 2010, NCIS (‘Naval Criminal Investigative Service’ for anyone not entirely au fait with US military acronyms) fizzles with repressed lust every time Ziva and Tony share the screen. Which is fairly surprising when you consider what an utter pig DiNozzo can be! Their ‘relationship’ is even more intriguing if you believe the Hollywood gossip grapevine. Apparently, early in the show’s history, the actor who plays Tony rebuffed the off-set advances of the lady behind Ziva, Cote de Pablo. Ouch!

crime solving couples
2. Fox Mulder & Dana Scully
The X Files

Back in the 1990s, spooky Fox series The X Files absolutely ruled the airwaves. Fantastic acting, imaginative storylines… This paranormal mystery series had it all. Including subtle romantic rumblings between its two main characters. In fact, between them, Special Agent Mulder and Dr. Scully had more chemistry than her science lab and more tension than one of the show’s cliffhanger series endings. It took a full nine seasons for the two of them to take the plunge. But when they finally did, it was out of this world (we imagine!).

crime solving couples
1. Maddie Hayes & David Addison

This ’80s ABC series was wildly successfully and arguably the most famous example of the ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ debate. It didn’t take long before producers answered that question with ‘They will!’ So, only a couple of series in, Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd found themselves locking lips (something neither of them were too keen to do – the actors reportedly hated each other). Unfortunately, the show then saw a massive drop in ratings and the show was promptly cancelled. They should never have kissed…*sigh*

Are there any brilliant crime solving couples that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!


    Betty & Jughead
    Jake & Amy
    Blacktop & Gumshoe

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