One morning in May 1671, a man disguised as a parson attempted to seize the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. He managed to escape with the regalia and crown before being apprehended. Yet he was not executed for treason. Instead, the king granted him a generous income and he became a familiar strutting figure in the royal court’s glittering state apartments. This man was Colonel Thomas Blood, a notorious turncoat and fugitive from justice. In an age when gossip and intrigue ruled the coffee houses, the restored Stuart king decided Blood was more useful to him alive than dead. But while serving as his personal spy, Blood was conspiring with his enemies. At the same time he hired himself out as a freelance agent for those seeking to further their political ambition. Robert Hutchinson paints a vivid portrait of a double agent bent on ambiguous political and personal motivation.