Pay Enough for Anything and It Passes for Taste

Sue Grafton? Kinsey Millhone? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: A handbag with the logo of a top fashion company is quite expensive. The high cost functions as a marker of desirability. Here is a germane adage:

Pay enough for anything and it passes for taste.

This statement has been attributed to popular detective novelist Sue Grafton. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1992 Sue Grafton published “‘I’ is for Innocent”, a book in her top-selling alphabet series. The adage appeared within an internal monologue of the main character, private investigator Kinsey Millhone, while she was approaching an expensive house. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

My guess was that inside the floors would be aggregate concrete, with the plumbing and furnace ducts plainly visible and raw. Add some corrugated plastic panels and an atrium done up in wall-to-wall Astroturf and you’d have the kind of house Metropolitan Home might refer to as “assured,” “unsparing,” or “brilliantly iconoclastic.” “Unremittingly tacky” would also cover it. Pay enough for anything and it passes for taste.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Pay Enough for Anything and It Passes for Taste

Notes:

  1. 1992, “I” is for Innocent by Sue Grafton, Chapter 5, Quote Page 61, Henry Holt and Company, New York. (Verified with scans)