The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Caroline Sheppard Character Analysis

Caroline Sheppard is the sister and roommate of Dr. James Sheppard (at the time, it wasn’t particularly uncommon for adult siblings to live together in English villages, even if they were fairly well-off). She’s an exceptionally gossipy, curious person, and throughout the book most of the comic relief stems from her frantic attempts to learn as much as possible about the case. Although many of Caroline’s instincts are wrong, she’s arguably the character in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd who most perfectly represents the ideal reader of Agatha Christie mysteries: she’s exceptionally curious about the murders and, crucially, she has almost meta-fictional instincts about who is and isn’t guilty. (For example, she’s sure—as any good mystery fan would be—that Ralph Paton can’t be the killer, because this would be too obvious.)

Caroline Sheppard Quotes in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The The Murder of Roger Ackroyd quotes below are all either spoken by Caroline Sheppard or refer to Caroline Sheppard. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd published in 2011.
Chapter 6 Quotes

"Parker!" said my sister. "Fiddlesticks! That inspector must be a perfect fool. Parker indeed! Don't tell me."

Related Characters: Caroline Sheppard (speaker), John Parker, Inspector Davis
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

"He wants to know whether Ralph Paton's boots were black or brown," said Caroline with tremendous solemnity.

Related Characters: Caroline Sheppard (speaker), Hercule Poirot (“Mr. Porrot”), Ralph Paton
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

It was then that I went on, goaded by Caroline's gibes, and rendered reckless by my triumph.
“And as to anything interesting,” I said. “What about a gold wedding ring with a date and ‘From R.’ inside.”

Related Characters: Dr. James Sheppard (speaker), Caroline Sheppard
Related Symbols: Mah Jong
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 24 Quotes

I invent a nephew with mental trouble. I consult Mademoiselle Sheppard as to suitable homes. She gives me the names of two near Cranchester to which her brother has sent patients. I make inquiries. Yes, at one of them a patient was brought there by the doctor himself early on Saturday morning.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (“Mr. Porrot”) (speaker), Dr. James Sheppard, Caroline Sheppard
Page Number: 268
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 26 Quotes

Remember what I said—the truth goes to Inspector Raglan in the morning. But, for the sake of your good sister, I am willing to give you the chance of another way out. There might be, for instance, an overdose of a sleeping draught.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (“Mr. Porrot”) (speaker), Dr. James Sheppard, Caroline Sheppard, Inspector Raglan
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:

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Caroline Sheppard Character Timeline in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The timeline below shows where the character Caroline Sheppard appears in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Dr. Sheppard at the Breakfast Table
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...he’s too late—she’s already dead. He returns to his home, where he and his sister Caroline live. At that moment, his instincts tell him, “there were stirring times ahead.” (full context)
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Caroline is a talkative woman, and Dr. Sheppard knows that whatever he tells her about Mrs.... (full context)
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Caroline informs Dr. Sheppard that she already knows Mrs. Ferrars is dead—Annie the parlormaid told her.... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Man Who Grew Vegetable Marrows
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At lunch, Dr. Sheppard tells Caroline that he’ll be dining with Roger Ackroyd that night. Caroline says that Ralph has been... (full context)
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...who has moved in next door. His name is “Mr. Porrott,” and neither he nor Caroline has been able to learn anything whatsoever about him. Based on his mustache, Sheppard guesses... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard leaves Mr. Porrott and goes inside his house; Caroline has just come home. She tells Dr. Sheppard that she’s just seen Roger Ackroyd, who... (full context)
Chapter 4: Dinner at Fernly
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Around ten o’clock, when Dr. Sheppard is in bed, the phone rings. He shouts to Caroline that it’s Parker: Roger Ackroyd has just been found murdered. (full context)
Chapter 6: The Tunisian Dagger
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Dr. Sheppard returns to his home, where Caroline is waiting. He doesn’t mention the blackmailing, but tells Caroline everything else. Caroline finds it... (full context)
Chapter 7: I Learn My Neighbor’s Profession
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The next morning Dr. Sheppard goes to work, and returns in the afternoon. Caroline informs him that Flora Ackroyd wants to see him. Flora explains that Sheppard’s neighbor is... (full context)
Chapter 11: Poirot Pays a Call
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Back at home, Caroline informs Dr. Sheppard that Poirot has dropped by. He talked about his “little grey cells,”... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Goose Quill
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That evening, Dr. Sheppard goes to Poirot’s home for dinner. Poirot asks about Caroline, and Sheppard demands to know why Poirot visited while Sheppard was out; Poirot chuckles and... (full context)
Chapter 14: Mrs. Ackroyd
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...if Ralph Paton’s boots, which he left at the Three Boars, were black or brown. Caroline asks a friend’s maid, Clara, who also works around the Three Boars, about the boots,... (full context)
Chapter 15: Geoffrey Raymond
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The afternoon after he sees Mrs. Ackroyd, Dr. Sheppard comes home, and Caroline informs him that Geoffrey Raymond has left—he was looking for Poirot. Poirot has just returned... (full context)
Chapter 16: An Evening at Mah Jong
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The night after the previous chapter, Sheppard and Caroline play Mah Jong with two gossipy friends, Colonel Carter and Miss Gannett. As they play,... (full context)
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...gang of some kind—she spends a lot of time by herself on her days off. Caroline now voices her theory about Ralph Paton. She believes that Ralph is hiding out in... (full context)
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...Ralph was married to Flora, or that Roger was married to Miss Russell. But then Caroline suggests that Geoffrey Raymond was married to Flora. Caroline insists, “Flora Ackroyd does not care... (full context)
Chapter 17: Parker
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Dr. Sheppard invites Poirot to his home. There, Caroline asks Poirot if he’s found Ralph Paton in Cranchester. Poirot is surprised for a moment,... (full context)
Chapter 19: Flora Ackroyd
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...at Fernly. Raglan also mentions that Poirot has a nephew who’s “off his crumpet”—something that Caroline has told Sheppard recently. But even if Poirot, like his nephew, is “a bit barmy,”... (full context)
Chapter 20: Miss Russell
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Dr. Sheppard returns to his office and later goes home. There, Caroline tells him that Poirot is waiting for him. Poirot informs Sheppard that he’s arranged for... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Paragraph in the Paper
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Dr. Sheppard leaves his office and returns to Caroline, who insists that Miss Russell must know more about Roger Ackroyd’s death than she’s letting... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard rejoins Poirot and walks home, where they find Caroline, who tells them that Ursula Bourne has come to the house, demanding to see Poirot.... (full context)
Chapter 22: Ursula’s Story
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Ursula—who Poirot has just called “Ursula Paton”—begins to weep. Caroline embraces her, murmuring, “there, there.” Ursula says she has read the report of Ralph’s arrest,... (full context)
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Ursula proceeds to tell Dr. Sheppard, Caroline, and Poirot what she’s been hiding. While working as a parlormaid for the Ackroyds, she... (full context)
Chapter 23: Poirot’s Little Reunion
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Ursula tells Poirot that she should go back to Fernly now, but Caroline insists that she stay in the Sheppards’ home. Poirot agrees, adding that he wants Ursula... (full context)
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When Ursula and Caroline are out of the room, Dr. Sheppard tells Poirot that the case against Ralph Paton... (full context)
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...his house for his meeting with the suspects. He apologizes for being unable to invite Caroline, but insists that it needs to remain confidential. However, Poirot still wants to bring Ursula... (full context)
Chapter 24: Ralph Paton’s Story
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...tested his theory by inventing a fictional nephew with mental problems and mentioning him to Caroline, who immediately referred Poirot to hospitals where Sheppard had gone. At one of these, Poirot... (full context)
Chapter 25: The Whole Truth
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...This would suggest that Ralph was wearing a third pair of shoes—boots, perhaps. Poirot sent Caroline to determine whether Ralph had boots, obscuring the reason for his inquiry by asking about... (full context)
Chapter 26: And Nothing But the Truth
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...Poirot’s lecture. However, Poirot reminds Sheppard that he’ll tell Inspector Raglan the truth tomorrow—unless, for Caroline’s sake, Dr. Sheppard chooses an easier way out, such as an overdose. He suggests that... (full context)
Chapter 27: Apologia
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Dr. Sheppard must now contemplate his “way out.” To save Caroline from the truth, he says, he’ll take a sleeping pill—perhaps Veronal, creating a kind of... (full context)