Tartarus Press


The Collected Connoisseur is a paperback of 308 pages.


ISBN 978-1-905784-20-2


Paperback: £17.95 inc free p&p worldwide


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Ebook: £7.99

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The Collected Connoisseur


Mark Valentine and John Howard


Following in the footsteps of M.P. Shiel's exotic savant Prince Zaleski and Arthur Machen's Mr Dyson, Mark Valentine and John Howard's The Connoisseur -- aesthetical detective extraordinaire -- unravels a cornucopia of arcane mysteries in these twenty-three tantalising tales. Collecting together all the adventures in previous Tartarus volumes In Violet Veils and Masques and Citadels, along with four further tales published elsewhere, this volume provides the lover of esoteric mystery and adventure fiction with the complete Connoisseur casebook.


Venturing from his fire-lit study in an English cathedral city, The Connoisseur encounters, among other phenomena, strange masquerades in country houses; a Scottish island whose Prince may not be named; a poignant relic from the Black Sea region, sought after by a ruthless order; a secret account of the first crossing of an Arctic land and an Art Deco cinema which may retain resonances of its mysterious former occupants. From your own fireside, follow The Connoisseur into the delicate shading between this world and other realms of wonder, tragedy and trepidation.


Contents: 'Introduction' by Mark Valentine, 'The Effigies', 'After the Darkness', 'The Paravine Cries', 'Pale Roses', 'In Violet Veils', 'The Lost Moon', 'Café Lucifer', 'The Craft of Arioch', 'The Secret Stars', 'The Hesperian Dragon', 'The Lighting of the Vial', 'The Nephoseum', 'Sea Citadels', 'The Prince of Barlocco', 'The Black Eros', 'Mad Lutanist', 'The Mist on the Mere', 'The White Solander', 'The Last Archipelago', 'The Rite of Trebizond', 'The Serpent, Unfallen', 'The Temple of Time', 'The Celestial Tobacconist', 'The Descent of the Fire'.


Reviews of The Collected Connoisseur

'I am also in complete awe of Valentine and Howard's visionary writing here and elsewhere. Every reader of the weird, the fantastical, and of the occult should have The Collected Connoisseur sitting on his or her shelves.  No collection would be complete without it.' Oddly Weird Fiction

'Those for whom the supply of authentic classical supernaturalism can never be enough, those who yearn for lost tales by the likes of Machen, de la Mare, and Dunsany, should consider purchasing this attractive, inexpensive trade paperback at once; unlike so much modern imitation, it won't disappoint.' The Stars at Noonday

'I'd recommend wolfing them down, since unlike chocolates you can return to a book a second time, and the flawless writing here deserves a second, careful reading, free from the consideration of what-happens-next. Very much recommended.' British Fantasy Society

'...they intrigue, they entice and they beguile; they are, simply, magical.' Wyrd Britain

'This might be as close to a perfect short story collection as I will ever read. This is definitely becoming one of my "chained books" (meaning I'm figuratively chaining it up so you'll have to remove it with a bolt cutter to get it out of my library or pry it from my cold, dead hands).' Forrest Aguirre

'Exquisite writing and tales that transport...' Matthew G. Rees, Horla

'I can’t recommend The Collected Connoisseur highly enough." Glen Cole Russell



Paperbacks and ebooks available by Mark Valentine

The Peacock Escritoire with At Dusk

Sphinxes and Obelisks (essays)

A Wild Tumultory Library (essays)

Haunted by Books (essays)

A Country Still All Mystery (essays)

The Fig Garden and Other Stories (short stories)

The Nightfarers (short stories)

The Herald of the Hidden (short stories)

Secret Europe (short stories, with John Howard)

Inner Europe (short stories with John Howard)The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)

The Collected Connoisseur (short stories, with John Howard)


See also:

Phantom Cities by The Sodality of the Shadows



An interview with Mark Valentine


Copyright Tartarus Press 2023