Tony Cape was born in Wales and grew up in Yorkshire before attending Cambridge University. After working as a journalist in Northern Ireland and England he moved to the United States in 1977 to join the Buddhist community of Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. In the 1990s, he published a series of spy novels featuring Derek Smailes, a former police detective turned counterintelligence officer. The first of these, The Cambridge Theorem, became a bestseller in Britain and Italy, and was re-released by Felony and Mayhem Press in 2006.
He has lived in Colorado, Vermont and New York City and now makes his home in Western Massachusetts, where he teaches English at a private high school. He published a memoir, Diamond Highway: A Tibetan Buddhist Path in America in March 2013.