The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Roger Ackroyd is, to state the obvious, the murder victim in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and his death prompts Hercule Poirot to investigate the case—eventually leading to Poirot’s discovery that Dr. James Sheppard is the killer. Ackroyd is described as being a successful, middle-aged businessman; he’s well-liked in his community, though he has a stubborn streak. Ackroyd’s first wife dies of dipsomania (i.e., alcoholism), and he later begins a secret affair with Mrs. Ferrars, culminating in Ferrars’s decision to murder her husband. At this point, Dr. Sheppard begins to blackmail Mrs. Ferrars, prompting her to kill herself and send a letter to Roger Ackroyd containing Sheppard’s name. After learning about the letter, Sheppard kills Ackroyd.

Roger Ackroyd Quotes in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The The Murder of Roger Ackroyd quotes below are all either spoken by Roger Ackroyd or refer to Roger Ackroyd. 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 4 Quotes

"Make certain that window's closed, will you," he asked. Somewhat surprised, I got up and went to it. It was not a french window, but one of the ordinary sash type. The heavy blue velvet curtains were drawn in front of it, but the window itself was open at the top.
Parker reentered the room with my bag while I was still at the window.
"That's all right," I said, emerging again into the room.
"You've put the latch across?"
"Yes, yes … What's the matter with you, Ackroyd?"

Related Characters: Roger Ackroyd (speaker), Dr. James Sheppard
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 25 Quotes

“A person who was at the Three Boars earlier that day, a person who knew Ackroyd well enough to know that he had purchased a dictaphone, a person who was of a mechanical turn of mind, who had the opportunity to take the dagger from the silver table before Miss Flora arrived, who had with him a receptacle suitable for hiding the dictaphone—such as a black bag—and who had the study to himself for a few minutes after the crime was discovered while Parker was telephoning for the police. In fact—Dr. Sheppard!”

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (“Mr. Porrot”) (speaker), Dr. James Sheppard, Roger Ackroyd, Flora Ackroyd
Page Number: 278
Explanation and Analysis:

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Roger Ackroyd Character Timeline in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The timeline below shows where the character Roger Ackroyd appears in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Who’s Who in King’s Abbot
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...town, one of which belonged to Mrs. Ferrars, and the other of which belongs to Roger Ackroyd. (full context)
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Roger Ackroyd is a successful, middle-aged manufacturer of (Dr. Sheppard thinks) wagon wheels. He’s red-faced, genial,... (full context)
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Everyone in town has been gossiping about how Roger and Mrs. Ferrars were “getting on very well,” and for a while, people thought that... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard crosses paths with Roger Ackroyd in the street. Roger seems “a … wreck of his usual jolly, healthy self.”... (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 staying at the local inn, and... (full context)
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...handsome. Sheppard immediately concludes that Porrott is describing Ralph Paton. Porrott explains that he knows Roger Ackroyd from London, and has asked Ackroyd to keep quiet about his profession—Porrott is so... (full context)
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...his house; Caroline has just come home. She tells Dr. Sheppard that she’s just seen Roger Ackroyd, who told her that Ralph and Flora are engaged. Caroline told Roger that Ralph... (full context)
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...charming. At the inn, Ralph greets Sheppard and offers him a drink. He explains that Roger Ackroyd has put him in “a devil of a mess.” Sheppard asks if he can... (full context)
Chapter 4: Dinner at Fernly
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A little before 7:30 pm, Dr. Sheppard arrives at Roger Ackroyd’s estate, known as Fernly. The butler, Parker, lets Sheppard inside, where Sheppard finds Ackroyd’s... (full context)
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A moment later, Flora Ackroyd enters. She’s a beautiful young woman, though many people dislike her. Flora proudly shows Dr.... (full context)
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At dinner, Dr. Sheppard sits next to Mrs. Ackroyd and Flora Ackroyd. Dinner is tense, and Roger Ackroyd seems depressed. After dinner, Roger leads... (full context)
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When Parker has brought Dr. Sheppard’s bag and left, Roger begins to speak openly. He says he’s “in hell” and that he only asked about... (full context)
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Roger goes on to explain to Dr. Sheppard that he asked Mrs. Ferrars to marry him... (full context)
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Just then, Parker enters with the mail and leaves. Roger finds an envelope from Mrs. Ferrars. He asks Dr. Sheppard again if he shut the... (full context)
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...think if there’s anything he’s “left undone.” Outside, he sees Parker, whom he tells, “Mr. Ackroyd particularly does not want to be disturbed.” Sheppard puts on his coat and leaves. Outside,... (full context)
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...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 5: Murder
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Having heard the news of Roger Ackroyd’s murder, Dr. Sheppard drives over to the Ackroyd house. Parker lets him in, and... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard asks to see Roger Ackroyd, just to be sure that he’s all right. Parker leads him to the study,... (full context)
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...study. Raymond suggests that there was a robbery—nobody would have any other motive for killing Roger Ackroyd. He looks through the drawers, however, and finds that nothing is missing. There are... (full context)
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...and Dr. Sheppard explains that he was summoned by a call. He also notes that Roger Ackroyd has been dead at least half an hour. The inspector notices two shoeprints on... (full context)
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The inspector tries to determine the exact time of death. He asks Dr. Sheppard about Roger Ackroyd, and Sheppard recalls leaving around 8:50. Raymond recalls hearing Ackroyd’s voice from the study... (full context)
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The inspector asks more questions. Parker explains that the only ways to access Roger Ackroyd’s study would be to come through the main hall or through a window. Then,... (full context)
Chapter 7: I Learn My Neighbor’s Profession
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...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 Hercule Poirot, the famous detective.... (full context)
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...when the body was discovered, the door was locked and the window was open. Only Roger Ackroyd himself could have opened the window, either because the room was warm (but this... (full context)
Chapter 8: Inspector Raglan Is Confident
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Immediately following the events of the last chapter, Dr. Sheppard stands in Roger Ackroyd’s home. The call he received last night was from King’s Abbot station, a train... (full context)
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...Mr. Hammond, the family solicitor (a kind of lawyer), arrives to speak with Raymond about Roger Ackroyd’s affairs. Raymond nods and leaves, and Poirot notes, “He had the air efficient, that... (full context)
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...between 9:45 and 10:00. Major Blunt was in the billiard room with Mr. Raymond; Mrs. Ackroyd was there, too, and went to sleep around 9:55. Flora Ackroyd was seen walking from... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Goldfish Pond
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...Sheppard walk back from the summerhouse. By this time Inspector Raglan has gone. Poirot studies Ackroyd’s house and murmurs, “Who inherits it?” Sheppard says that he’s surprised by such a question,... (full context)
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...she’s happy. She tells Blunt, “there’s something awfully consoling about you.” Next, Flora explains that Roger has left her 20,000 pounds in his will—money that represents “freedom.” Major Blunt then sees... (full context)
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...greet Flora and Major Blunt. Poirot asks Blunt to tell him when he last saw Roger Ackroyd. Blunt explains that he saw Ackroyd at dinner, and, while he was standing on... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Parlormaid
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...Dr. Sheppard, Poirot, Flora, and Major Blunt meet Mr. Hammond, who’s been speaking with Mrs. Ackroyd. Mrs. Ackroyd tells the group that she believes Ralph to have “accidentally” killed Roger. Poirot... (full context)
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At lunch, Mrs. Ackroyd tells Dr. Sheppard that she’s hurt about being left only 10,000 pounds. She adds that... (full context)
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Raymond recalls that Roger cashed a check for a hundred pounds yesterday afternoon, and adds that he usually leaves... (full context)
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...well behaved. The men also speak with Ursula Bourne, a parlormaid who gave notice after Roger became annoyed with the way she arranged his papers. Ursula insists that she was nowhere... (full context)
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...Inspector Raglan notes that Parker is “wrong” somehow, but adds that he couldn’t have killed Roger—he had too many duties around the house. (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard wonders if any of the papers on Roger’s desk contained important information—this might explain why Roger had such a lengthy talk with Ursula... (full context)
Chapter 12: Round the Table
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At the inquest, Dr. Sheppard presents his evidence about the time and cause of Roger Ackroyd’s death. The coroner notes, but doesn’t stress, Ralph Paton’s absence. Meanwhile, Inspector Raglan alerts... (full context)
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...Ralph or the stranger Dr. Sheppard saw. Suddenly, Poirot asks Inspector Raglan if he checked Roger Ackroyd’s fingerprints, and suggests that the fingerprints belonged to Roger. Casually, Poirot mentions that, while... (full context)
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...Dr. Sheppard that they meet with the “family.” Later that day, they meet in the Ackroyd house with Raymond, Mrs. Ackroyd, Flora, and Major Blunt. Poirot first asks Flora to disclose... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Goose Quill
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...into the stranger a few minutes earlier, and the stranger asked her the way to Roger Ackroyd’s house. The stranger was also seen at the Three Boars, where a barmaid reported... (full context)
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...He asks why the stranger went to the summerhouse, and Poirot points out that Mrs. Ackroyd said she’d brought Flora from Canada. Poirot next brings up the parlormaid’s dismissal, pointing out... (full context)
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...Sheppard produces a scrap of paper on which he’s jotted some thoughts. He notes that Roger Ackroyd was heard talking to someone around 9:30, that Ralph Paton probably came in through... (full context)
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...everything. It doesn’t explain the pushed-out chair, or the missing forty pounds—however, Sheppard points out, Roger may have given Ralph the forty pounds. Poirot agrees, but points out another thing—it’s unclear... (full context)
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...motive for murder. Sheppard points out that money could be a motive—Ralph stood to inherit Roger’s fortune. Poirot adds that there are other motives: the blackmailer could have been trying to... (full context)
Chapter 14: Mrs. Ackroyd
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On Tuesday, Mrs. Ackroyd summons Dr. Sheppard to examine her. She claims that she’s “prostrated” by the horror of... (full context)
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Mrs. Ackroyd proceeds to explain to Dr. Sheppard that she’s had “many bills,” some of which she... (full context)
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...speak to Ursula Bourne. He tells her that he knows she wanted to speak to Roger, not the other way around. Ursula admits this, but also asks Dr. Sheppard about Ralph... (full context)
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...thought—black. Dr. Sheppard can’t imagine what the color of the boots has to do with Roger Ackroyd’s murder. (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... (full context)
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...house, Sheppard presents Poirot with the jam and tells him about his conversation with Mrs. Ackroyd. Poirot is interested in this information, but not too excited. The key point, he and... (full context)
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...house, explaining that he’s anxious to catch Poirot. He has a confession to make: before Roger Ackroyd’s will was opened, he was in debt. Now, with the money Ackroyd left him,... (full context)
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Sheppard suggests that Roger Ackroyd’s killer wasn’t Mrs. Ferrars’s blackmailer. Poirot agrees, suggesting that Parker may have been the... (full context)
Chapter 16: An Evening at Mah Jong
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...play, Carter mentions that he’s heard rumors of blackmail. Miss Gannett says she saw Flora Ackroyd in the morning—and she was with another man, though Gannett doesn’t name him. (full context)
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...Gannett points out that Flora has been fortunate. She was the last person to see Roger Ackroyd alive, and Gannett guesses that Ralph has been staying away from the village in... (full context)
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...his guests about the ring Poirot found in the pond. The players then guess that Roger was secretly married to Mrs. Ferrars, that Ralph was married to Flora, or that Roger... (full context)
Chapter 17: Parker
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...he’s been indiscrete about sharing information. He goes to the funeral of Mrs. Ferrars and Roger Ackroyd, afraid that Poirot will reproach him for spreading information. At the funeral, Poirot doesn’t... (full context)
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...about the murder. Parker admits that Poirot is right—but he insists that he didn’t murder Roger Ackroyd. He says he listened to Ackroyd on the night of the murder, and after... (full context)
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...Dr. Sheppard that he believes Parker: Parker wasn’t the killer, and he sincerely thought that Roger Ackroyd, not Mrs. Ferrars, was the blackmail victim. Dr. Sheppard nods, and then admits to... (full context)
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...and Poirot visit Mr. Hammond to inquire about Mrs. Ferrars. Sheppard recaps his conversation with Roger Ackroyd on Friday, and Hammond is unsurprised to hear that Mrs. Ferrars was being blackmailed—he’d... (full context)
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...Caroline goes on to tell Poirot, very excitedly, that she believes Flora to have killed Roger Ackroyd. Parker never heard Roger say goodnight—suggesting Flora killed him and then told Parker not... (full context)
Chapter 18: Charles Kent
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...first sees Poirot, he admits that Poirot was right: the fingerprints on the knife were Roger Ackroyd’s own. (full context)
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...dropped this quill. Kent doesn’t deny this, but he insists that he couldn’t have killed Roger Ackroyd: he left around 9:25 and was at a local saloon by 9:45. Poirot asks... (full context)
Chapter 19: Flora Ackroyd
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...Poirot then suggests that Flora may have been the one who stole the money from Roger Ackroyd’s desk. When she and Parker rehearsed their actions, Poirot discovered that Parker only saw... (full context)
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...admits that she did. She says she stole because she’d been desperate for money for years—Roger was always stingy with her and Ralph. Blunt mutters, “I see—always Ralph,” and Flora insists,... (full context)
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Major Blunt tells Raglan that Roger gave him the forty pounds, and that Flora never touched it—and he’s prepared to say... (full context)
Chapter 20: Miss Russell
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...as early as 9:30, and Charles Kent might have been the man Raymond heard asking Roger Ackroyd for money. However, he couldn’t have placed the phone call from the station, since... (full context)
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...Friday, around 9:25, Miss Russell gave him money. She insists that he couldn’t have killed Roger Ackroyd, though, since Ackroyd was speaking to someone around 9:30. (full context)
Chapter 21: The Paragraph in the Paper
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...his office and returns to Caroline, who insists that Miss Russell must know more about Roger Ackroyd’s death than she’s letting on. The next morning, the newspaper publishes the fictional story... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard goes off to the Ackroyd house to invite everyone. Inside, he finds Mrs. Ackroyd, who tells her that Flora has... (full context)
Chapter 22: Ursula’s Story
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...Sheppard, Caroline, and Poirot what she’s been hiding. While working as a parlormaid for the Ackroyds, she fell in love with Ralph Paton and secretly married him—Ralph insisted that Roger would... (full context)
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...she kept silent: had she told the truth, people would have thought that she’d murdered Roger before he could cut Ralph (and, in effect, Ursula herself) out of his will. Poirot... (full context)
Chapter 23: Poirot’s Little Reunion
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...bring Ursula with him to the meeting. He insists that, that very evening, he’ll expose Roger Ackroyd’s killer. (full context)
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...The guests arrive. Poirot introduces them to Ursula, explaining that she’s Ralph Paton’s wife. Mrs. Ackroyd is surprised. Flora tells Ursula not to worry, adding that she wishes Ralph had told... (full context)
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...clears his throat, signaling for everyone to sit down. Everyone is here: John Parker, Mrs. Ackroyd, Flora Ackroyd, Raymond, Ursula Bourne, Hector Blunt, and Elizabeth Russell. Poirot points out that every... (full context)
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Poirot began his investigation with the shoeprints on the windowsill of Roger Ackroyd’s study, with Dr. Sheppard as his aid. He says he searched the summerhouse at... (full context)
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...in the summerhouse. Poirot concluded that Ralph could not have been in the study with Roger Ackroyd at 9:30. (full context)
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Who, Poirot wondered, was in the study with Roger Ackroyd at 9:30? Poirot then began to wonder if anyone was there. Raymond says that... (full context)
Chapter 24: Ralph Paton’s Story
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...summerhouse at 9:45, but has no alibi after that. He swears that he didn’t kill Roger Ackroyd. Raymond says that he believes Ralph, but adds that the police won’t. Poirot then... (full context)
Chapter 25: The Whole Truth
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...receptacle. Poirot also deduced that the voice Raymond heard at 9:30 might not have been Roger Ackroyd’s literal voice, but only a recording. This would suggest that Roger was dead at... (full context)
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...Ralph’s shoes. He also must have had an opportunity to steal the dagger after Flora Ackroyd examined the silver table. The murderer must have been mechanically minded, must have known Roger... (full context)
Chapter 26: And Nothing But the Truth
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Poirot has just accused Dr. Sheppard of killing Roger Ackroyd. Dr. Sheppard laughs and says that Poirot is insane. Poirot then points out that... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard protests that he had nothing to gain by killing Roger Ackroyd. On the contrary, Poirot guesses, Sheppard killed Roger to protect himself. He blackmailed Mrs.... (full context)
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...his manuscript. He also warns Sheppard not to try to silence him, as he silenced Roger Ackroyd. Sheppard smiles and says, “whatever else I may be, I am not a fool.” (full context)
Chapter 27: Apologia
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It’s 5 a.m., and Dr. Sheppard has just finished his manuscript. He pities Roger Ackroyd, and wishes Roger had read the letter when Sheppard gave him the chance. Or... (full context)
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Dr. Sheppard says that he used a dagger to kill Roger Ackroyd as an afterthought. He’d brought his own weapon, but decided to use one that... (full context)