The Upper Set by JB Mortenson
will be available in 2019


After almost a decade of research and interviews in Europe and the USJoan is writing an entertaining and historically true story about three adventurous and successful men of the Prohibition era who grow up with opposite childhoods and career choices. The book takes the reader around the world and lands where the three men collide in New York City and Saratoga Springs.

O V E R V I E W

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Peter DeGlassi, one of 12 children born to European boarding house owners runs away to France to escape the pressures of his dysfunctional family. After hearing stories of the decadent hotelier Ritz, Peter vows to one day own a gourmet restaurant in a high-end hotel. He travels halfway around the world looking for the perfect place to start, settling on San Francisco in 1906, the same year the as tragic earthquake and fire. Peter reluctantly moves to New York City, but is now in the epicenter of the battle with government agents over the fine champagne he serves with filet mignon.

In a Czarist Russian town Jews are persecuted and many of them, including the Murdansky family flee to Manhattan, where they believe the streets are paved with gold. The family can work and worship freely in New York, but Mr. Murdansky does not make enough for food and rent. Besides being ashamed of their poverty, the Murdanskys small son Arnold has become indifferent to religion preferring to spend time with dangerous street gangs in the Lower East Side. Eventually, Arnold is sucked into an evil vortex of the world’s most notorious murderers.

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Gold Coast New York socialite Westcott Payne is a polo champion and a descendant of British aristocracy. He is the embodiment of what immigrants strive to be­ – free of problems with his affluent exploits chronicled in magazines and social columns. And Whitney is everything he thinks he should be–a good-looking purveyor of fine living, women, and objets d’art, but he is overwhlemed with the fear of losing posessions, and thus his father's approval. Is Wescott bored by his materialistic life? Is failure his fate?