"When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don't you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly-lit side of the metro, where aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions.
When crime takes up a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese."
Trese: Murder on Balete Drive (stylized as TRESE: Murder on Balete Drive) is the first book in the main Trese series. It contains the first four Trese cases written by Budjette Tan and drawn by Kajo Baldisimo.
Aside from the four cases, the book also contains the following:
- Introduction by Gerry Alanguilan.
- Afterword by Budjette Tan.
- Exhibit 13 sketchbook section with notes by Budjette Tan featuring early design sketches of the main and supporting cast.
Trese: Murder on Balete Drive was first published in March 2008 by Visual Print Enterprises under the Alamat Comics Imprint, collecting the first four cases previously published in ashcan format in 2005.
On October 2013, the book was collected together with the Trese: Unreported Murders and Trese: Mass Murders into a hardcover omnibus entitled Trese: Book of Murders, with digitally updated artwork and other bonus content.
On September 2020, Ablaze Publishing released the international edition of Trese: Murder on Balete Drive on print and digital platforms (such as Comixology, Izneo, etc), with redrawn artwork by Baldisimo, additional story panels, pages and dialogue, and bonus content such as Prof. Alexander Trese's journal entries first published in the Trese: Book of Murders.
In March 2021, Avenida books released a new edition exclusively in the Philippines, which is cheaper and slightly smaller than the 2020 Ablaze edition but with the same redrawn artwork and bonus content (sans the journal entries).
On March 16, 2022, Delcourt Publishing released a French translation of the book titled as Trese Tome 1 (Trese Book 1).
- Visprint edition, published in 2008
- Avenida edition, published in 2021. This edition includes updated artwork and a new afterword from Budjette Tan.
- Ablaze edition, published in 2021. This edition is similar to the Avenida edition, but features a red version of the original's cover and includes interstitial entries from Alexander Trese's journals, which were originally included in Trese: Book of Murders.
- A variant cover drawn by Kajo Baldisimo for this edition was made exclusive to Comic Odyssey and Sanctum Sanctorum Comics. The cover features Alexandra Trese and the Kambal against a backdrop that resembles the Philippine flag.
- This edition was the basis for an Italian edition published at Star Comics that featured the first four pages in color. A limited edition of this translation was also made available, featuring a dust jacket with cold foil and embossing.
- A French edition based on the Ablaze edition was published by Delcourt Publishing. This edition was hardbound and notably dropped the book's original subtitle from the cover and spine.
- Case 1: At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street
- Case 2: Rules of the Race
- Case 3: The Tragic Case of Dr. Burgos
- Case 4: Our Secret Constellation
- Finalist of the 2009 Madrigal-Gonzalez Award, conducted by the University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing.
- The Avenida edition was second in National Bookstore's bestsellers of July 2021, and was first the following month.
- The Avenida edition was also one of Fully Booked's bestsellers in July 2021.
- This book follows the second and third book's naming scheme of including the word "murder" in the title.
- The 2020 Ablaze edition and 2021 Avenida edition features new redrawn cover artwork by Baldisimo featuring the main and supporting cast of Trese 1 (the original cover features generic-looking aswang and engkanto creatures) A variant cover with a Philippine flag motif was drawn by Baldisimo exclusively for Sanctum Sanctorum Comics in Plymouth, Michigan, and Comics Odyssey in Manila.
- The first three chapter breaks in this book are black and white versions of the cover art for the Tagalog Bob Ong translations.
- User blog:Fictional/TRESE bags first three places for NBS's July 2021 Bestsellers
- User blog:Fictional/TRESE are Bestseller books in Fully Booked and NBS