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  A masterfully woven story about the horrors of the sex abuse scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church and the impact on both victims and their families. PI Cate Harlow handles the case of a missing boy and a pedophile priest with a perfect combination of hard-nosed detective skills and compassion. ”

Greg Archer 

The Huffington Post


"Cate Harlow is a gem! A self-aware woman in touch with her own needs and feelings, who can both take it and dish it out. Her sensitivity is leavened with an intelligent, level-headed approach to getting the job done with or without a gun.  She is a model for other woman as she weaves her way through a tough, well-plotted story with delicacy and aplomb, somehow managing to solve the mystery and juggle steamy romance at the same time. Her author is a sharp storyteller on a mission to bring the bad guys to justice."

Marilyn Horowitz, ArtMar Productions and author of The Book Of Zev


A perfect combination of the raw reality of child abuse in the Catholic Church and well-blended fiction. A boy missing ten years, two murdered priests and a private detective who finds a connection between the cases. Cate Harlow is a tough PI who also has a decidedly earthy side to her. I love it!"

Victoria Charles Barratt

Miami  Book Reviewer



"How would you feel if you were the victim of clerical abuse as a child? FOR I HAVE SINNED will rocket you through this world, with Cate Harlow leading the charge.  While trying to solve the mystery of a decade old missing child case, Cate also becomes tangentially involved with the gruesome murder of two priests.  Little does she know that she too will become a kidnapping victim as she interjects herself into solving the mystery of the murdered priests. 

Houghton is a master at weaving these two stories into a tale about the disturbing world of child abuse by those who should be the most trusted. Put that together with the ever-charming character of Cate Harlow, and the result is a read you don’t want to overlook.

The story and the main character of Cate Harlow captured, and held my interest from beginning to end.We'll be seeing a lot more of Cate Harlow and company and that is a definite plus for readers!"

Melissa Ford

The Post Book Review


"Houghton's character Cate Harlow tackle life's toughest issues with a wry sense of humor and sheer tenacity, coupled with a juicy tone that captures and holds our attention. Cate Harlow doesn't miss a step while dealing with the cold case case of a missing boy, a possible vigilante group, and two murders. And she has a personal life as seen by the two men with whom she is involved; a charming ex-husband cop and a suave ME.”

Judy Martin

Emmy-Award winning broadcast journalist, radio anchor at CNBC Radio


FOR I HAVE SINNED is sure to be a best-seller! Reading a Kristen Houghton book is like getting together with a savvy best friend who tells the most wonderful stories – I highly recommend this book to everyone.”

Janet Taylor, MD, contributor to The Today Show on NBC


A master observer of people and life… Kristen Houghton's book  is a must read thriller for all.”

Maria Rago, author of Shut Up Skinny Bitches!


  • “Reading Kristen Houghton is like getting together with a charming and savvy best friend – I highly recommend her books to everyone.”
    Janet Taylor, MD
    Psychiatrist, contributor to “ The Today Show” on NBC
  • "Houghton's characters tackle life's problems with a sense of humor and sheer tenacity, coupled with a juicy tone that captures and holds our attention.”
    Judy Martin
    Emmy-Award winning broadcast journalist, news writer/radio anchor at CNBC Radio
  • A master observer of women, men, life and relationships… Kristen Houghton's books are a must read for all..”
    Maria Rago
    author of Shut Up Skinny Bitches! Ph.D.,Clinical Director Rago Counseling Center for Women’s Issues
  • "Kristen Houghton is a woman whose advice... will help you revive your goals, reinvent your life, and make positive changes!"
    Bill Mitchell
    P.I., author of “The More You Know”and “The 7 Day Detective.” Consultant to the “Dr. Phil Show”

Learn more about Kristen Houghton's booksBuy Kristen Houghton's Books




       Recent Press

    A huge thank you to all who voted for their favorite cover for my book,

    For I Have Sinned: A Cate Harlow Private Investigation.

    I am having a blast writing the second book in the series.

    Characters from the first book have become old friends!

    Koehler Publishing — Kristen Houghton’s latest novel, For I Have Sinned, launches this November.

    It is a fast-paced Cate Harlow Private Investigation story that will hold you to the end. 

          May, 2014


We are very pleased to announce that, FOR I HAVE SINNED, the first book in the Cate Harlow Private Investigations series by Kristen Houghton, will be published by Koehler Books Publishing in 2014.

The character of Cate Harlow and all characters in the CATE HARLOW, PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS series have been created by author Kristen Houghton.
© copyright 2014 Kristen Houghton all rights reserved.


Just released! Welcome to Hell

We are pleased to announce the first horror novella by Kristen Houghton.

Written under the name CK Houghton, Welcome to Hell has just been released as an ebook and the previews are excellent!

"Well-written in a perfect blend of horror and dark comedy; nice psychological twists and turns."         Kirkus Reviews 


Take a healthy pouring of satire. Stir in black humor. Add a slug of morality play when the Devil explains what is in store for Teddy's eternal damnation. Stir well. Sip. Repeat. Houghton hits two of my favorite writing elements, satire and black humor. This novella is fun and scary! Sit back and enjoy. You'll find it's worth the ride.                                                                                                                                         Betsy Ashton in Write Now!

Product Details 

Read Kristen Houghton's interview in A Book Lover's Library

 ABLL would like to welcome author Kristen Houghton. Sit back and enjoy the interview.

Describe yourself as a writer.

Surprisingly, since I am not this way in some other areas of my life, I am a very organized writer. I like to write beginnings, middles, and endings in my stories in that order. This gives me a story timeline and lets me get inside the minds of my characters as if I am going through what is happening to them. read more→

The Paperback and Kindle versions of The Horror Zine, with my new short story The Shuttle Bus Man, are now available. Many thanks to the talented editor, Jeani Rector for all her hard work! 

The Shuttle Bus Man  in The Horror Zine

Here Now!  New book

Nourishing Thoughts - The Little Book of Wise Sayings Nourishing Thoughts - The Little Book of Wise Sayings

We're so thrilled to announce the release of Kristen's new book which is  already getting great buzz and positive previews


This is a small book of thoughtful sayings, and short tales that will teach you how to nourish the “self within” and become whole. Each segment begins with a life statement and ends with a Nourishing Thought coming from an eclectic mix of writers, historical figures, actors, and ancient spiritual sages. From Mark Twain to Buddha to Katharine Hepburn to Julius Caesar, to a surprisingly, serious statement made by the Queen of Comedy, Lucille Ball, the sayings offer practical advice on living a nourishing, positive life. Each “nourishing thought” will help you towards having your own “great sense of self.”

This holistic way of living your life is beneficial to all within your sphere. It has a healthy domino effect. Like the abundant spread of wildflowers in meadows, the seeds from loving and caring for yourself will subtly bring their beauty to everyone in your life. Your healthy attitude will influence everything in your world.
Nourishing Thoughts is a great book to read on its own and is a wonderful companion book to Kristen's top-selling book,  And Then I'll Be Happy!   Enjoy!

Kristen's Keys for a Happy Life

    Women Who Drink 

     Women have joined the ranks of people who "drink a bit too much." The history of women and  

     drinking is interesting...  Read more →

     Dads and Daughters 

     Daughters see themselves in their fathers' eyes. If he says she's smart, she is; if he says

     she's pretty, she is...   Read more →

     Sex, Older Women, and Health

    There's a common misconception that as women age, they lose interest in sex. But a new

    University of California-San Francisco study says this is not at all true. Women...

    Read more→

     The Calorie Restrictive Lifestyle  Dieting in America

     My friends in France and Italy do not understand why we put ourselves through the torture of

     food denial so frequently. If you want to lose weight, they say...

     Read more →

     How to Thank the Women Who Paved the Way for Us

     The next time you sign a paper making you a property owner, the next time you vote...

     Read more →

     Women and Guns

     Guns scare me. Even though I have handled one, with trepidation, on a shooting range...

     Read more →

     Is It Okay To Be (Positively) Selfish?

               Face it; if you’re in a good place with your own life, you are in a better...

               Read more →

    Weight - Why One Size Doesn't Fit All

              Lindsay is great. You two might have a lot in common. She's..."

             "Fat. I don't date fat girls," Rob said abruptly.

              Read more→

    Laughter is both glue and medicine for marriages because... keeps us together and heals our hearts.

  Banking on Marriage

   Marriage is a miracle even when we don't see it as such. It endures a lot...

   Read more→

   A Comic Relief List of What Not to Discuss on Holidays

            "They're" (almost) here! "They" are the days that comprise the holiday season... 

            Read more→

         Women Who Curse and the Men Who Love Them

  I'm a woman who curses on ocassion and my husband loves me. But some men...

  Read more →

 Happiness Key: Forgive Yourself and Heal - Great Therapy!

 Everyone from celebrities to clergy of all faiths tout forgiveness as a healing action.

 All say that forgiving someone who has hurt you helps you to move on. But does it? Read more→

        Happiness Key: He's 30, Can I Still Call Him My BOYfriend?

  After the age of 30 are the titles "boyfriend and girlfriend" the best we can give each other?



 Great day at Barnes and Noble Hackensack, NJ!

 Many thanks to all!


The Huffington Post

 A masterfully woven story about the horrors of the sex abuse scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church and the impact on both victims and their families. A missing boy cold case, three murdered priests, and a PI who finds the bizarre connection between the two." Greg Archer, The Huffington Post


"Kristen Houghton proves there is room for one more tough, sexy PI with the introduction of Cate Harlow, who takes her place alongside PI Warshawski and Stephanie Plum. Brava Kristen! A great read!"  Betsy Ashton, Goodreads 5 out of 5 stars! 

Private investigator Cate Harlow finds herself involved in two cases that seemingly have nothing to do with each other; she soon discovers they may be bizarrely connected. While working the cold case of a boy who went missing ten years ago, she receives an early morning call from her ex-husband, a homicide detective, informing her about a recent murder; the horribly mutilated body of a priest, wearing only a clerical collar has just been found off of Interstate 95 in New York. The murder is eerily similar to a troublesome and unsolved case that Cate worked on less than a year ago. The only difference between the two victims is that the second dead body has a hand-written message in Latin scrawled across the inside of the priestly collar; a message from Dante's Divine Comedy, "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." With the priests’ murders heavily on her mind, Cate's investigation into the missing boy leads her to the august office of a New Jersey archbishop who, she strongly believes, has been hiding pedophile priests for years by transferring them from one parish to another. When Cate discovers that there may be a solid connection between the priest murders and the missing person cold case, she puts her own life on the line to not only solve her cold case but bring a pedophile to justice.

FOR I HAVE SINNED has a readers' guide on LitLovers Book Club  Discuss characters, storylines, and background about the book with other readers!

Featured on the Sisters in Crime website

Meet the FOR I HAVE SINNED characters

Book critic A.William Hopper

"Cate Harlow made her literary debut and rocked the reading world with her style, intelligence, beauty, sex appeal and passion for solving a murder case on her own terms. If you enjoy a good read,  prepare yourself for a GREAT read. Highly recommended."


As is customary with all my books, 5% of the book sales will be donated to these charities:

The North Shore Animal League (a no kill shelter)

Shelters With Heart (for victims of domestic violence and their pets).

You'll be helping these fantastic charities as well as getting an exciting, satisfying read.



Books by Kristen Houghton (see reviews)