How about the Cisco Kid as a TV detective.
In one episode he was given a card deck with hidden messages written on the side of the deck. The assault victim gave him the clue "Eight Kings Threatened To Save Ninety Five Queens For One Sick Knave" which Cisco worked out as the way to order the cards so that they formed the hidden messages. I had to look up the "Eight Kings Stack" trick on Google to work out what Cisco meant ... anyway the message tells you to put the cards in the following order :- 8, K, 3, 10, 2, 7, 9, 5, Q, 4, Ace, 6, J. Isn't that better than Captain Midnite's decoder ring ?
In another episode, the bank robbers used a plot device similar to ones used in Charlie Chan in Egypt and in one of the Mr Wong Detective movies (which was later recycled as a Roland Winters Chan movie) ... except the gas just put people to sleep. There aren't that many actual killings in Cisco (what with Cisco shooting baddies in their gun hand).