I have just re-read The Mysterious Affair at Styles in the light of comments made by Martin Edwards at The Bodies From The Library Conference last week. Martin reminded delegates that as we look back at them now the Golden Age authors we think of as relatively elderly figures were, at the time they were writing in that period, just starting out on their writing careers. They were the bold young Turks carving out a niche for themselves and defining a new genre. They were constantly innovating and what we, with the benefit of 80 or 90 years of hindsight, may think of as hackneyed cliches that have dulled with of over-use by subsequent lesser talents were actually brilliant innovations that genuinely took their readership by surprise.
I have read Agatha’s debut novel in the Folio Society edition which is stylishly illustrated by Andrew Davidson with 7 plates including the above final scene where Hastings is finally enlightened by Poirot how the Affair was solved.