A sensitive insight into a child's imagination and a strong thread of suspense are the distinguishing aspects of this otherwise melodramatic effort from the ever-reliable Shreve. Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree are Lucy Childs and Rose Treeman, best friends and companions in the latest in a series of imaginary games, this one taking place in Lucy's basement office, ""Shrinks Inc.,"" where they are famous women psychiatrists, inspired by the example of Lucy's father, a well-known child psychiatrist who has his office in a converted garage nearby. One day, in the midst of treating Mrs. Parks, whose husband, in a bear costume, has threatened to eat her, they come upon one of their father's patients, Cinders, a small victim of child abuse. Unable to resist the chance to do some real psychiatry, the two 11-year-olds become enmeshed in Cinder's plight, until Lucy's life is put in danger by Cinder's evil guardian. The denouement, in which Lucy is rescued and Cinders, it is hinted, will come to live with the Childs', neatly wraps up both the plot and a subplot involving Lucy's feelings of neglect because her parents seem more interested in being together than with her. Though exciting and suspenseful, the plot is a bit too melodramatic, the ending a bit too tidy. it is the weakest part of a book that is full of funny, memorably off-center characters and dialogue.