Today, in 2018, when translating some piece of fiction from a foreign language into French, which tense would be normally used for the past tense of the foreign language: Passé simple or Passé composé? Would perhaps either feel "all right" to the readers, or one of them feel too archaic/formal, or the other too conversational/informal?
I'm looking at a new translation of Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Acroyd" (traduction nouvelle de Françoise Jamoul) and it starts out using passé simple from the get-go. I'm curious as to why, and tried to come up with possible reasons - don't laugh too hard if some of them are ridiculous...
Is it because this is an old novel, and so a linguistic style compatible with its age is appropriate? Would a modern detective novel translated from English use passé composé?
Is it because this is the appropriate choice for a literary text, even a detective novel, and the use of passé composé would be too informal?
Is it because English, particularly, employs widely both simple past and present perfect, and to distinguish them two French tenses are customarily used, even though this doesn't reflect contemporary conversational usage?