|B & N link|
The energy is also completely different. Gamache is a "slow and steady" investigator, sitting on a park bench, eating his croissant and patiently watching the locals, like a cat sizing up mice. It was unclear which direction the investigation was going; there was an accidental quality to the discoveries, although I suspect that's often true in real life, but I prefer Archer Mayor or Spencer-Fleming's mysteries, where there are distinct pushes as the investigators pursue specific theories or leads.
Penny writes poetically and there are two big surprises I enjoyed but won't give away; my favorite element in the book was the use of painting.