Picture it: tonight, we set out for adventure, entering an exciting, different world ... backstage at the circus, or a high rolling political rally, or a safari into darkest Africa, or the espionage thick milieu of World War Two Europe, or maybe even ... aisle seven at the local K-mart.
An exciting setting will set a mood of fun and adventure from the moment your audience enters, while a dreary setting could create a tone of boredom impossible to overcome.
You could place your mystery in a typical office, home, or retail outlet, but these are places we've all been; there's no inherent interest in visiting them again. Murders are not, as yet, anyway, commonplace occurrences -- why should they take place in a mundane environment? This is a perfect opportunity to inject a little glamour, a taste of the exotic, into the audience's lives.
The excitement of an unusual setting can help draw the audience into your story, and assist in that vital suspension of disbelief. An unusual environment also opens up greater possibilities for more colorful characters. Choose carefully.
Next: Creating Characters