In what ways is the behavior, perception, language, and thought processes of the male characters dramatically contrasted to that of the women?
The men are much more reactionary, impulsive, and aggressive than that of the women. They are also very wrapped up in male pride and self-image. This is evident in the way they process the crime scene. They barge through the house without contemplation and begin looking for obvious clues. They are quick to assume the circumstances that might have caused the murder. They are also dismissive and mocking in the women's attempts to offer opinions. They think that the women's gender makes them incapable of solving the crime. They speak tersely and want succinct answers to their questions. They do not try to think beyond the obvious. The men dismiss evidence such as the unfinished knitting and messy kitchen as sloppy housekeeping, not evidence. Their brash and chauvinistic assumptions of women lead them to miss important evidence.
The women are careful upon entering the house. They let themselves feel the mood before they assume anything. They also try to see past obvious evidence by looking at the woman the wife was before she killed her husband. It is the underlying emotions that allow the women to understand why she did this. The women trust their instincts and their own experience with isolation to lead them.