Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket

Julia Karr 2

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
173 Pages
Reviewed on 08/07/2018
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Author Biography

K.C. is a wife, mother and manages the family business. K.C.’s husband refers to her as Hobbit size and claims that she is “nuttier than a fruit cake.”

She owns a complete set of pink tools, believes in aliens and secretly wants to become a badass ninja. In her spare time, she can be found daydreaming about leaving work early to eat chocolate and drink wine. Sometimes her dreams come true.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite

A middle-aged woman decides she has had enough of her car lot business and makes a crazy and desperate pact with her husband to get her dream vacation in the comedic novel, Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket (Julia Karr 2) by K.C. Hilton. Julia Karr thought that she had enough on her plate when she challenged her husband, Romeo; she would sell a specific amount of cars by a certain date and Romeo would have to take her on vacation. Now, halfway into the agreed upon time, Julia finds her life on the threshold of chaos. Her house has been ripped apart and lies in rubble around her feet; she has more past due accounts than she has sales; and her clients refuse to pay. Her repo guy has met with an accident and, to make matters worse, she is being dogged by an old high school frenemy who likes to streak during business hours. Just when things look hopeful, Julia is attacked by an irate customer. Suddenly, she is left contemplating her mortality. Becoming obsessed with preparing for the Afterlife draws a whole slew of new problems Julia's way. Will she finally get a much deserved break? Or will she die trying?

Cars, Coffee, and A Slightly Used Casket (Julia Karr 2) by K.C. Hilton is the hilarious sequel to Cars, Coffee and A Badass Ninja Toilet. Owning a car lot may be a challenging profession, but being a female car lot owner is near insanity; though Julia handles business like a pro. What would you do if faced with a gun-toting angry customer, a burglary gone horribly wrong, and a dead man in the back of a repossessed car? Ask Julia! I loved book one, but book two is even better. I couldn't stop laughing! The characters are so believable and interesting, the settings so realistic, and the story is the perfect blend of humor and sadness. Be prepared for more laugh-until-you-cry moments, more cloak-and-dagger repossessions, and more exasperated sighs from Romeo. With awesome new characters, including Ash Dedman the Undertaker, and undercover work at a cemetery, who needs television? If you like a twist of humor with your morning coffee and bedtime wine, then this book is a must-read!

Jack Magnus

Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket: A Julia Karr Novel, Book 2 is a contemporary humorous fiction novel written by K.C. Hilton. While the second in Hilton’s series, this book can be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel. Julia definitely wanted that vacation. The used car “hobby” she and her husband had taken on together had somehow morphed its way into being a full-time job for her, and, while she still enjoyed it, there were times, like now, when she needed a break. She especially felt that way when she had to deal with repossessing cars. Granted, Tiny, a repo man of heroic proportions, who demanded and got respect from the most recalcitrant car owners, did most of the heavy lifting involved. Romeo, Julia’s husband, absolutely did not want her to have anything at all to do with the repo process, but those very angry and often crazed former car-owners did have a habit of coming around to the lot and getting right up in her face. Julia could take as good as she got generally, which made a fabulous impact considering her diminutive size and penchant for pink attire, but a woman, even a bad-ass ninja woman, did need her time in the sun and sand. Romeo had made a bet with her -- sell ten cars in two months and she’ll get that vacation. And by hook or by crook, Julia was determined to do just that.

K.C. Hilton’s bad-ass ninja used-car dealer, Julia Karr, is out for a second romp in Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket, and any doubts I may have had about Julia’s bad-assery were quickly dispelled by this hilarious and well-written novel. As with her first book in the series, I loved seeing the actual operations of a used car lot, especially those Thursdays when Julia gets to find the newest treasures at the car and truck auctions, and I felt for her when she had exhausted all other remedies and had to finally bring in Tiny, the repo man. However, like Romeo, I couldn’t help but wonder about Julia’s sudden interest in caskets and funeral urns, even or especially the pink ones, and somehow didn’t find the eye-candy charms of the mortician or his decadent baked treats to be sufficient incentive to make a funeral home a hangout, but somehow it all seems to work in Julia’s sometimes frenetic world view. Hilton’s descriptions of the home remodeling process are priceless, and her inclusion of a new character, a bungling young cat burglar named Slick, is a grand thing indeed. Julia’s interactions with Slick were in many ways the high points for me in this entertaining and enthralling story. Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket is most highly recommended.

Divine Zape

Julia Karr, a used car lot owner, is in deep trouble and she knows it. Her business is suffering with past due accounts and an increasing number of repossessions. But what about the crazy customers who barge in drunk and brandish a baseball bat or a gun? Can Tiny, the hefty badass who carries a gun, knows the law and doesn’t take shit from anyone, help her recover vehicles with past due accounts? A vacation could do some good, but with the business spinning out of control, Karr finds comfort and flight in more chocolates and more wine. This second entry in the Julia Karr series is a compelling story that looks at what it feels like to own and run a used car lot, to handle crazy customers and to face the unpredictability of the business.

Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket by K.C. Hilton is hilarious, the kind of book that takes readers into the mind of a woman at breaking point. I love the protagonist, Julia, a very tough woman who manages to keep going in spite of the pressure from all sides. She can stand her ground, even if it means pulling out her cute, pink gun at a relentless customer. One of the reasons I love the first person narrative voice is that it is intimate, it draws the reader closer to the narrator and makes them feel the action and connect emotionally with the narrator. K.C. Hilton has used this voice with skill and ingenuity. The writing in Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket is fluid and flawless and sprinkled with humor. The dialogues are awesome and very revealing of the characters. There is great fun for every reader in this gripping tale. I couldn’t put it down and I could feel like part of me is in this story. If you know stress and the irksomeness of dealing with difficult people, then you’ll love this novel.

Kim Anisi

Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket is the second book in the Julia Karr series by K.C. Hilton, but you don't need to have read book 1 to understand book 2. Julia feels like she desperately needs a holiday from her six day a week work in her used car lot. Her husband, however, does not make it easy for her to get that holiday: she will only get to go away with him if she manages to meet her end of a deal that involves selling quite a few more cars. In addition to having to get more customers on the books, Julia has to deal with a very "clever" burglar, a woman who likes to run around naked, and the repossession of cars from people who failed to make their payments. Then there is the guy who aims a loaded gun at her, a cheeky theft, drug dealers, and a home remodeling that isn't going without problems. Quite a few of Julia's adventures end with police involvement - lucky for her, her local policeman likes donuts just as much as she does. Julia also makes a new friend at a funeral home; which involves cookies and fudge!

In Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket by K.C. Hilton, Julia is a bit obsessed with making arrangements for her own death. After all, you get a new perspective on life when you have to deal with nutcases in her line of work. I found her research and her obsession with caskets for rent and pink urns rather funny and her husband's reactions were hilarious. Google is one of Julia's best friends, and she also likes to reply to scam emails with witty comments or brutal honesty - often both at the same time. One of the important (or rather VITAL) characters of book 1 also makes a short appearance: Sir Johnny! Good to know that he still gets used for a rather weird thing (I won't spoil that for readers who didn't read book 1). Some weird and some interesting characters are introduced in the second installment of the series, e.g. Shady Dick (yes, really) and Dizzy Donna. Once you get towards the end of the book, Donna begins to make more sense, and you might even start liking her. I think of the new additions, Shady is my favourite even though he doesn't get as much attention as the funeral home.

While the book is in general a light and humorous read, it also has some good messages, e.g. not to judge people from their behavior without knowing their background, and that everyone deserves a second chance after making a mistake (a rather dumb one in this case). I would recommend this book to everyone who likes interesting and slightly weird main characters who lead an unusual life. There's a lot to laugh about in this book, but also some things that make you think. I definitely could have read a couple hundred pages more of this! Great fun!

Gisela Dixon

Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket: Julia Karr 2 by K.C. Hilton is yet another hilarious account of the experiences of Julia who runs a used car lot. Just like the first book in the series, this one is also humorous and full of adventures and even some danger! Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket, as the title suggests, focuses mainly on Julia’s experiences as a woman running a used car lot and managing the business on her own. This time there are some new adventures with repossessing cars when timely payments have not been made, the search for caskets and urns in preparation for after-death rituals, along with some house renovation projects, and all of this is interspersed with hilarious banter with her long-suffering husband, Romeo, as Julia herself puts it. There are also some new adventures and stories around her friend’s laundromat business. This book once again shows that it takes all kinds to make up the world, but mostly this is simply a fun, light-hearted read.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series and this one is just as good as the first. Right from page one, Julia hooks you in with the crazy stories and sometimes even crazier people she deals with in a male-dominated field. In this book, we see ample evidence of stereotypes once again where a woman is not taken seriously just because she happens to run a business in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The writing is very funny and engaging and I especially enjoyed the bits with her husband, and his reactions almost invariably made me smile, or laugh. Author K.C. Hilton obviously has a flair for writing and for comedy, if I may say so, and this is a hilarious, fun read.