I'm currently working on a whodunit one-shot tentatively titled Bored to Death. Spoiler: Bored to Death Premise Bored to Death takes place in Mudstock, a sleepy mountain town and "the most desperately boring place on this great big blue ball of wonder". In one dramatic pitch to stave off boredom, the friends, in response to a story told to them by one of their own, illegitimately enter the abandoned mansion of a dead art collector who is said to return to the mortal world on nights of a full moon and live his life out for one final day in the body of the statues he prized so much. However, it is there that one of the friends is found to have been murdered during their ghost hunting expedition by a weapon wielded by one of the very statues they had been there to investigate. Despite claims of immortal instruments, one ultimate truth prevailed: it is one of the teens among them that had committed murder. The catch? The weapons are much too heavy to swing around in pursuit of bloody homicide, and the body was locked away in a room totally isolated from the established murder weapon. A two-fold impossible crime, and the only thing standing between the culprit and total freedom on the excuse of spectral forces at work is the infamous skeptic, Alvis Bower. One of the features I wanted to be preeminent in the story is the fact that every character reflects a different response to boredom. We have the sleepy depressive with a dry sense of humor, the attention-defficient with loads of pent-up energy, the overeater, the foreigner who locks herself in room and escapes through television, etc.. Despite being archetypes, all of these features are results of their awareness of the overwhelming boredom of the town they live in. And, naturally, not only do these features play into the overarching mystery, but they are also reflected in the characters' response to the events of the story, and play into deviating themselves from the archetype or stereotypes they've come to fit. But the problem is: if I'm using "boredom" as a character theme, how important or how forward should it be in the story? Is just having it be a persisting topic enough? And what is the exact way one goes about establishing and utilizing a theme? Should it be analytical of the subject matter (the theme) at hand? What is the right way to handle a "theme" in a story and a whodunit no less -- a school of mystery writing that puts the puzzle aspect first and the literary aspect second (not to say that it isn't "important" to mystery writing, but its generally considered right to consider every part of it as how it would affect the "puzzle")?